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.