US coal use is falling fast, and predicted to go below 40 percent this year, as electric utilities switch to cheaper natural gas and clean energy, reports Jonathan Fahey at the Associated Press. New Environmental Protection Agency pollution standards mean that many more old, dirty coal plants will be forced to close over the next few years. Meantime, methane, that is natural gas, is replacing it in part. While methane emits about 45% less greenhouse gases than coal when burned, mining methane releases so much of this potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere that it is little if any improvement over coal, recent past studies have shown, as reported in previous Climate Change Reports. The good news is that clean renewable energy, both solar and wind, increased its production faster than natural gas in 2011, reports Zachary Shahan at Clean Technica, replacing more of the coal gap. Rapidly falling clean energy prices, combined with indications that proven gas reserves will supply cheap US gas for only one to two decades, indicates, reports Stephen Lacey at Clean Technica, that clean energy will increasingly replace even natural gas.