It is not solar, wind or even politics that knocked coal from its perch atop the US energy provider market, but natural gas. However, there is an environmental price to pay. Although it does not contribute to global warming as much as coal, it does contribute to an increase in CO2 emissions.
Natural gas is expected to replace not just declining coal power in the future, but also a significant portion of low-carbon nuclear power plants scheduled to close. Compared to coal, natural gas produces approximately half of the carbon emissions per unit of electricity generated than coal.