WASHINGTON -- Miners from West Virginia, Virginia and other states on Tuesday joined 30 members of Congress for a rally in Washington, D.C., against Obama administration rules aimed at reducing coal pollution.
Industry groups were promoting Count on Coal's Rally for American Energy Jobs outside the U.S. Capitol.
National Mining Association President Hal Quinn said the administration needed to hear from workers who produce the coal that helps produce American electricity and manufacture the nation's steel.
Coal industry officials and supporters have criticized a variety of Obama administration environmental rules, but are currently focused on a proposal to for the first time limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
"EPA is hosting listening sessions on its power plant regulations," Quinn said. "Here's an opportunity to listen to those directly affected by the agency's rules."
Pittsburgh-based CONSOL Energy, which on Monday announced it was selling its five large underground coal mines in northern West Virginia to focus more on natural gas production, said employees from its Virginia and Pennsylvania operations took buses to Washington for Tuesday's rally.
"CONSOL Energy is pleased to be a part of the rally both through our sponsorship of buses headed to the rally and through our employees and retirees who volunteered their time to stand up for coal and what it means to our economy in the way of jobs and affordable, reliable electricity for millions of Americans," said Cathy St. Clair, CONSOL's public affairs director.
CONSOL's prepared statement did not mention taking any buses of workers from the company's mines in West Virginia to the rally. CONSOL's West Virginia mines are unionized, while its mines in Virginia and Pennsylvania are nonunion operations.
The United Mine Workers union has raised concerns about the Obama administration's regulatory proposals but was not involved in promoting Tuesday's rally.
Murray Energy, which is purchasing the CONSOL mines in West Virginia, sent 26 busloads of miners and family members from its operations in Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio, said company spokesman Gary M. Broadbent.