Exciting news for the energy industry: for the first time ever, coal is not the biggest power generator in the U.S. As of April 2015, natural gas is the top source for electricity, with 31% of electric power procured from natural gas versus 30% from coal. This landmark has been steadily approaching for years as coal slowly marches towards its death: compared to April 2014, electricity generated from natural gas climbed 21% while coal fell 19%. Now the two are finally at a point of intersection.
This increase in natural gas use has been spurred by increased domestic supply and pressure from energy regulations to cap carbon emissions. However, the biggest factor that affects the usage of coal or gas is price. The U.S. Energy Department expects the levels to rebound as natural gas prices rise and coal generators are put back online after spring maintenance.