Chris Cline is a mining entrepreneur and humanitarian. He owns the majority shares of the Foresight Reserves. Known as the ‘New King Coal’ he is credited for the revival of the Illinois coal industry. With a net worth of 1.2 billion dollars, Cline ranks among the richest Americans.
Cline was born on 5th July 1958 in Beckley, West Virginia. In 1980 his father bought the company he had co-founded with a partner. He gave the shares to Cline who at the time was 21 years old and was attending Marshall University majoring in psychology. Cline did not graduate and dropped out to enter the coal industry which was in a way his heritage. His grandfather used to mine coal using a pickaxe in the beginning of the 20th century. Chris Cline reached heights of success in this business and became one of the richest people of America. Cline is also a philanthropist; the Herald-Dispatch commended him for his generous efforts in their July 26th 2011 editorial saying that he had not forgotten his roots. In May 2011 he donated 5 million dollars from his Cline Family Foundation to the School of Medicine and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics of the West Virginia University. Two months later he also donated 5 million dollars to Marshall University for research on sports medicine.
Illinois has a 250 year supply of coal which means that the state is provided with the biggest coal reserve in the country. The value of this coal industry is almost one billion dollars and operates in 12 countries. Cline spent 300 million dollars on the mining rights in Illinois because he had forecasted the need of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency for the power plants to remove the pollutants found in the coal. Foresight Energy constructed the Williamson longwall mining operation in West Frankfort in Illinois in 2005. Eventually Cline Group’s coal mining division took over Exxonmobil’s Monterey No.1 mine and established the Macoupin complex and the Sugar Camp in Hillsboro. Cline has always emphasized on promoting coal for cheap power. He believes that we would benefit from the ample and cheap energy than the loss we would face from the so called increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the ocean levels of the world. Cline is the president of the Cline Group. He says he is among those who supply the cheapest energy in the country. His company owns over 3 billion tons of coal reserves all over Illinois and Northern Appalachia.
Chris Cline has gotten married twice and has 4 children. It is rumored that nowadays he is dating Elin Nordegren, who is Tiger Wood’s ex-wife. In 2012 he was under a serious threat $1.2 billion and ranks among America’s billionaires. He is on number 736 on Forbes list of billionaires.