Dennis Adkins, a retired coal miner from Logan County and a member of Citizens for Clean Coal, said that the purpose of the trip was to make sure Manchin and other federal lawmakers understand the miners' point of view. Manchin has already publicly stated his opposition to the EPA regulation.
"We want to let (Manchin) know that we are behind him in supporting this issue," Adkins said.
Adkins contended that regulations such as Utility MACT are bad for the coal industry and the jobs the industry represents in West Virginia.
"They try to cut around the fringes to get to the heart," he said.
This isn't the first time a group of miners has visited legislators in Washington. In fact, Citizens for Coal and other pro-coal organizations have traveled across the country numerous times to fight for pro-coal legislation. Horton, for example, said he has been on about 30 such trips, traveling to Washington and coal-producing states throughout Appalachia, from Maryland to Tennessee.
"I've made this trip time and time again, and it's always to fight for our jobs," Adkins said, noting that about three-quarters of the miners on this particular trip had recently been laid off.
Mark Justice, who was laid off from his job as a truck driver in Boone County, said that it's important to fight for the coal industry to try to have as many jobs as possible in mining areas. He said he is caring for his parents, who also live in Boone County, and doesn't want to need to leave West Virginia to find work. He also had traveled to Washington a few years ago.
"If you can't work together, you can't have what you need or what you want," he said. "I just hope that they get this straightened out."
Regardless of today's vote and Obama's action, Horton said he thinks the effort will help in defeating Utility MACT. He also said the trip was educational for younger participants, mostly the children of miners, to learn how the democratic process works firsthand.
Kathy Adkins, who came from Madison, Boone County, also said the group accomplished its goal in Washington.
"I thought it was a good day," she said. "I hope we got the message through."
Kathy has reason to support the coal industry - her husband, Dennis, is retired from the industry, one of her brothers works at a mine, another brother works for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and a late brother was killed in a mining accident in 2003.
She also has nephews that are coal miners. She brought her grandson along on the trip, which she said showed him the proper way to accomplish goals in the Legislature.
"It just is our way of life," she said.
The children are another reason the group tries to stay involved in the lawmaking process.
"The broader picture is simple," Horton said. "We must have an industry in which we can protect national security, protect good high-paying jobs with benefits and at the same time, we must explore alternative energy sources and educate our children about the future ... because there will be a day when coal is gone."