Perhaps it is true that President Obama's pursuit of a lower carbon emission society is the first blow in a "War on Coal". If we look at developing technology in the coal space, however, this war may end before it even begins. Both Southern (NYSE:SO) and Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) are in the process of developing coal-powered generation facilities that could change the game. This new technology, known as coal gasification, reduces the amount of CO2 emitted per kW generated by 50% compared to traditional coal facilities, and reduces emissions of other pollutants regulated by the EPA by 70%.

There is a chance that if Southern and Duke can prove that these facilities are economically viable power facilities that can reach emission levels similar to natural gas, then the coal industry in the U.S. might get a second wind. Then again, there are a couple ifs in that statement that need to go right for this plan to work. Tune into the video below where Fool.com contributors Tyler Crowe and Aimee Duffy look at the chances for success with this technology and what the coal industry has in store for the next couple of years.

Fool contributor Aimee Duffy has no position in any stocks mentioned. Fool contributor Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow them both on Twitter @TMFDuffy and @TylerCroweFool, respectively.

The Motley Fool recommends Southern Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.