War on Coal.
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Even independently of the Obama administration’s policies, the U.S. energy grid has been undergoing some major shifts in the past few years. As the shale revolution has gained steam and natural gas has become more abundant, the proportion of electricity we get from coal has decreased while the role of viable-substitute natural gas has gotten bigger. Many defenders of the Obama administration’s incoming regulations for new and existing coal-fired power plants point to this ongoing market shift as part of their rationale, arguing that the transition to cleaner-burning natural gas is happening anyway and that all these regulations are just hurrying things along a bit for the sake of the climate — but the regulations are also ensuring that a swing back to coal can’t happen even if the market wanted it to.