It seems the practice of “rolling coal” has gone viral, and not exactly in a good way. The controversial practice has gotten the attention of politicians and regulators, who are cracking down harder than ever on the arguably already-illegal practice. The latest instance involves New Jersey state legislator Tim Eustace, who drives a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle and was engulfed in a cloud of black smoke while driving behind a diesel truck on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Eustace had anecdotally heard about the practice before he experienced it personally, but when it happened to him first-hand, it added fuel to the fire, so to speak, of his initiative to outlaw the practice in the state.
Eustace has introduced state assembly bill A3583 that would “prohibit retrofitting diesel-powered vehicles to increase particulate emissions for the purpose of ‘coal-rolling,’” and allow the state EPA to levy fines on violators.
Many believe introducing additional legislation outlawing the practice is unnecessary because tampering with the emissions control devices on cars is already illegal under federal law. While some have seen the practice as a protest against environmental activism, perceived as an infringement on their civil rights, Eustace chalks it up to “youthful ignorance.”