According to the Earth Policy Institute, coal remains the predominant source of electricity in the United States, though natural gas has rapidly closed the gap. As part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, aging coal-fired power stations are shutting down across the nation.
At its peak in 2005, coal accounted for some 2,000 terawatt hours of electricity and this figure declined to 1,517 terawatt hours in 2012. Electricity generation through natural gas has gained pace, growing to 1,231 terawatt hours by the end of 2012.
In the same year, nuclear power was the third highest source of electricity in the United States. Hydro electric power came fourth while wind power came fifth. Renewable energy capacity is set to increase drastically in the future, as coal power gets phased out.