Before anyone flies off the handle about the EPA's recent ruling being a watershed movement for the environmental cause or the death of coal companies, think about this for a second: We just set a benchmark that we are already halfway toward achieving. Sure, some companies like Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) and Southern (NYSE:SO) are looking to make investments in clean coal technology, but even before this ruling came down, the U.S. electricity market was probably already going to get there. 

Find out why carbon emissions were likely to go down anyway by tuning into the conversation between Motley Fool energy bureau chief Joel South and contributor Tyler Crowe in the video below. 

Top dividend stocks for the next decade
The smartest investors know that dividend stocks simply crush their non-dividend paying counterparts over the long term. That's beyond dispute. They also know that a well-constructed dividend portfolio creates wealth steadily, while still allowing you to sleep like a baby. Knowing how valuable such a portfolio might be, our top analysts put together a report on a group of high-yielding stocks that should be in any income investor's portfolio. To see our free report on these stocks, just click here now.

Joel South has no position in any stocks mentioned. Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow them on Twitter @TMFEnergy 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.