BECKLEY - Supporters of the mining industry from West Virginia and Virginia joined members of Congress at the nation's capitol Tuesday for a rally. Many left from Raleigh County during the early morning hours in buses packed with people.
"Maybe we can get down there, make a little noise, and get something to happen," said B.J. Dickerson.
Hundreds of miners accompanied by their families, industry officials, and lawmakers boarded the buses headed to Washington, D.C. for the "Count on Coal's Rally for American Energy Jobs."
"It's getting bad," said Dickerson, "This administration is really sucking us dry."
"This is our livelihood," James McMillion said, "a lot of people depend on this type of energy."
These folks spoke out against regulatory policies that they said killed jobs in the coal industry.
"We believe strongly that we got to get the energy politics right, and right now it's all wrong," said Jack Phillips, owner of Phillips Machine Service in Beckley. "This is a disaster. We not only have an employment disaster, but we have an energy disaster that the whole country should be concerned about."
State Senator Art Kirkendoll of Logan County also chimed in. "We're just wanting to know why that we can't compete and mine the coal, sell the coal, have quality jobs, educate our kids, and have the technology superior to everybody else's, when the good Lord give us this to have."
All these people have one goal. They just want to be heard.