State leaders come together to talk about the coal mining industry.
Coal officials met in Lexington to talk about the future of coal mining in Kentucky.
Congressman Hal Rogers says the cap and trade proposal was an attack on the coal industry. Now, Rogers says support for the miners is needed more than ever.
Hundreds packed the Marriott at Griffin Gate in Lexington for food, awards, and to support the coal industry and its miners.
"It's a huge crowd, the biggest one I've seen at the KCA meeting. It shows that we're fighting back," Congressman Hal Rogers said.
Rogers says coal is still under attack in Washington, and support in Kentucky is needed now more than ever.
"Coal in Kentucky and Appalachia is under siege from the Obama administration. They're trying to shut us down and fire people. I'm gonna stand in the doorway and keep that from happening," said Rogers.
Rogers says the rally for coal jobs in Washington last month was a big success. He adds that the new bill he is proposing, the Electric Reliability Protection Act, is gaining more support with other legislators.
"Which would stop the EPA from taking over the issuance of permits, which would free up coal," said Rogers.
He and other officials say support is needed from both political parties to keep the coal industry going.
"The one similarity, the one connector, of all of them is their belief in the coal industry and their support," said Bill Bissett, President of the Kentucky Coal Association.
"It's important to everybody. It's not an issue necessarily political partisan issue because we all need what coal provides," said Rep. Leslie Combs, from the 94th District.
Combs says the industry not only helps Kentucky, it is an asset to the whole country.
Awards were presented to coal companies for mine safety and for reclamation sites. Rogers was also presented with the Kentucky Coal Association's Coal Miner of the Year award.