Despite retaining the mantle of main fuel for electricity generation, the share of US generation that comes from coal has fallen to near a 35 year low, as electric power plants shift to cheaper natural gas.

NASDAQ reports that coal’s share of monthly power generation in the US dropped below 40 per cent in the last two months in 2011, according to the Energy Department.

The last time coal’s share of total generation was below 40 per cent for a monthly total was March 1978.

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