The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) expectation that coal will overtake natural gas and reclaim its role as the leading fuel for power generation in 2017 is based on sound economics, experts told Hart Energy, but the bragging rights will be fleeting.

“Although all of what we’ve read about for the last several years was that coal is dying and natural gas is taking its place, the reality is that the amount of power in this country produced by coal remains very significant,” Charles D. McConnell, executive director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, told Hart Energy.