“Coal Rolling” Assholes Safe Thanks To Senate GOP

“Rolling coal.”

As the Colorado Statesman’s John Tomasic reports–for the second year in a row, legislation to clamp down on the practice of “coal rolling” has died in the GOP-controlled Colorado Senate after passing the Colorado House and a GOP cosponsor in the Senate:

Rolling coal has made news across the country for years. It involves modifying a diesel truck engine using performance computer chips to send clouds of black soot from its exhaust pipe or pipes, preferably into the breathing space of pedestrians, bicyclists, Prius drivers, members of the state’s outdoor cafe society — which is to say, the kind of people who would most take offense.

State Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, a Republican from Sterling, led opposition to “nuisance exhaust” House Bill 1102.

Sonnenberg, a farmer, argued that the bill could be used to target agricultural workers who drive diesel pickup trucks but who aren’t intentionally polluting or seeking to offend or intimidate anyone. He said he feared the bill could turn into “the tip of the spear” that would bring California-style stricter vehicle emissions rules to the state…

The problem is, that’s a bunch of hooey. House Bill 17-1102 dealt specifically with the knowing release of smoke from light vehicles for the purpose of harassing and annoying others on the road or on the sidewalk. It’s not a measure intended to penalize any unintentional emissions, for example from an older vehicle in need of repair. The purpose of a “nuisance exhibition” of smoke is to harass others, period. And there is absolutely no reason in the world why it should be a protected activity.

It’s one of those situations where the objections just don’t make sense. Outside of the people who do it, we don’t know of anyone who thinks “coal rolling” should be legal. It’s already illegal to tamper with a vehicle’s emission equipment, and the modifications to facilitate “coal rolling” are not necessary to achieve any reasonable goal.

Until next year, though, congratulations to the “coal rollers,” and the GOP lawmakers making the world safe for your soot! Enjoy being a detestable public nuisance while you can.

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    He said he feared the bill could turn into “the tip of the spear” that would bring California-style stricter vehicle emissions rules to the state… 

    what an asshole….

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      Does he mean the California that has doubled its state GDP while levelizing its per capita energy consumption? Or does he mean some other mythical land? When are these 'conservatives' going to understand there's nothing more conservative than conserving?

      • ZappateroZappatero says:

        Yes, not The California that excels in education, technology, jobs, exports of entertainment, food, and that leads Colorado in probably every measurable human activity. 

        The other California. 

        • Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

          Sounds like a great place. You should move there as soon as possible.

          • Curmudgeon says:

            Couldn't someone say the same for you and your love of Mother Russia?  

            • Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

              Russia again? Is that all you people have? Since you hate Russia so much, the same Russia  that BO said he would have more  flexibility after the election. The same Russia that  Hillary gave a plastic button to, the same Russia  that got  preferential treatment for the uranium deal from the Hillary Department of State. That Russia? Unless you are calling for war with Russia because Hillary lost, you have no  credibility and are a hopeless group thinker.

              • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                "I are I hopeless group thinker?"

                Even by your standards, pale pomegranate, that is a truly mangled sentence.  Did you mean to say "Trump stinks"?

              • Curmudgeon says:

                Yes, Russia again…since Trump is still on their payroll, it's relevant.  

                And if you can't see the difference between diplomacy and a President who is financially and ideologically beholden to a totalitarian state, you're either too stupid to see it, or willing to overlook it, because you'd be okay with sucking up to a man like Putin, as long as the right people were in charge.  

                Either way….

              • JohnInDenver says:

                "Group thinker" — apparently meant as an insult.

                Meanwhile, you have all of the right-wing caricature talking points on Democrats and Russia. Seems like you are following the right-wing group think to a T.

                For what it is worth, even if the incidents were as bad as you seem to think, they took place before Russia took over the Crimea, invaded Eastern Ukraine, shot down a civilian jet liner, and interfered with a Presidential election.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      "what an asshole…."  Really, no shit?  I do recall that Mr. Sonnenberg; was it last year; inadvertently referred to Senator Kerry Donovan as "eye candy." 

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          On the rain barrels arena, the final score was Rep. Daneya Esgar 27, Sonnenberg 6.

          Let's hope Jerry S and his coal-rollin' buddies get whupped in a similar fashion the next time this stinky bill comes up.

          • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

            Let's not forget the slippery slope of renewable energy:  the (then Representative) Senator has fought the renewable energy movement since the 2004 Amendment 37 campaign.  There is likely no other state senator in the entire United States whose constituents benefit more from wind development than Colorado's SD-1.  But instead of leading, instead of finding ways for our rural electric cooperatives to own these wind farms, their members then inuring to the benefit of that ownership, those same members supplying the green energy mandated upon the Front Range, he fought progress (except for his attempt to create a market for 'Obama tears')

            The result?  We now have billions of dollars in wind farms in his district owned by out-of-state corporations – all while he carried the water for Tri-State to make possible their Holcomb Folly.  Even our little watermelon farmer – Governor wannabe has found his Pioneer spirit and is trying to pretend he likes it now. 

            But.  Meerika.  Roll Coal, dude

  2. Genghis says:

    Wouldn't go quite so far as to say "safe." After all, when the elected representatives of the people won't take reasonable steps to protect their constituents from battery, the citizenry is justified in taking steps to protect themselves. A coal-rolling douchebag does his act around me, he's well and truly earned a brick through his windshield and a split lip.

  3. Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

    It would seem to me that the offending driver could be issued a Careless & Wreckless ticket. Those have real impacts on insurance rates. No need for special legislation.

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account


You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.