No coal being burned in US is crazy assumption - coal demand was down due to inventory levels and warm winter as well as some gas switch over due to glut of short term fracking. For anyone to make a normal assumption you would need normal weather conditions. In PA this week its projected to be 95+ degrees.
Also even with the new epa regulations there are still I believe over 15 coal plants going into production this year alone.
EPA will have relax those standards (or get disbanded with new president) when gas prices go up because shale gas will fade as its big hype once people realize its production rates year 4 through 15 much lower than regular wells.
China and Japan can't keep up with demand in coal though. They projected there is 100 years of gas reserves and 250 years of coal reserves in the US. That was based on US demand alone and we are now exporting both (NG shortly through liquification).
If US starts exporting both what does that number go to? Where does pricing of the raw material go? What do your grandchildren pay for energy or how do they power their ever increasing electrical needs.
The energy market will get the internet type hype in that it has ever expanding needs and limited capabiliites once people release we are totally screwed in 30 years with energy prices continuing to escalate due to lack of resources in the world.
Alternatives will never make up more than 15% of total needs and can't be a base load as they are unreliable. They will be used for peak shaving which is good, but doesn't solve the problem and are too expensive even with government support.
I believe it was the cofounder of greenpeace saying the only green in alternatives was the money needed to pay for it.