On Friday, Underwood said, "I have no apologies for saying that I am a friend of the coal miners of West Virginia."
Roberts said he anticipated snide remarks about his appearing with Underwood and with coal lobbyists. But, he said, "That's what the Bible tells us to do."
At the Capitol rally, Logan County coal operator Rick Abraham gave a lengthy speech attacking The Charleston Gazette's coverage of mountaintop removal. Abraham named a reporter and editor, and said they have become "pimps for the environmental extremists."
"To those of you who are working on a surface mine, you are not breaking the law just because The Charleston Gazette says you are," Abraham said.
Abraham also called the fight to curb mountaintop removal mining "economic genocide."
Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said any legal problem with mountaintop removal "is all paperwork, and paperwork shouldn't be taking your jobs and your livelihoods."
Roberts said he would not back down from criticism of the environmental community, including calling them "extremists."
Roberts said his involvement with environmental issues for the UMW goes back more than 15 years, to the union's fight against new Clean Air Act rules to limit acid rain.
Then, Roberts said, national environmental groups refused a UMW-brokered compromise that would have lessened the legislation's impacts on the coal industry and miners.
More recently, Roberts said, environmental groups will not work with the UMW on a compromise on the Kyoto Protocol on global climate change.
And now in West Virginia, he said, the union believes environmentalists are using their federal court lawsuit to try to shut down all mountaintop removal mining.
"Where are we today?" Roberts said. "Kicked in the teeth again by the environmental community. We're fed up, and we're fired up."
Roberts said, though, that his emotional speech was not intended to drive miners out of control. He said if anyone "got out of hand," that would be an excuse for the UMW's critics to "put all over the front page of the paper: 'Radicals riot.'"
During a short speech at the federal building, Terry Vance, an officer of UMW local 2935 in Sharples - where 400 miners are facing layoffs because of Haden's ruling - responded to a church organization's call for peaceful debate of mountaintop removal issues.
"None of us are going to hurt anybody," Vance said. "We don't want violence. We are peaceful people.
"This is a war, but it's a war of words," he said. "And I don't intend to lose."