A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists concludes that federal environmental regulations and an influx of cheap, domestic natural gas are driving the energy sector to undergo its most significant transition in the last half century. The report, "Water-Smart Power: Strengthening the U.S. Electricity System in a Warming World," says that the decisions that energy companies make now regarding the replacement of old power plants are critical to preserving water resources and minimizing effects on climate change in the future. Power-generating companies that elect to replace coal-fired power plants with ones that burn natural gas are going to be "at risk in the long term" of creating significant risks to the climate and water because traditional power generation depends heavily on water, as does the hydraulic fracturing process often used to recover the gas. Wind, solar and other renewable forms of energy do not depend heavily on water and, therefore, they and energy efficiency measures have the potential to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and water use should they be elected to replace these plants, the report said. For more, read the full report.