by Luke Warner
Categories: Film/TV, Home, People
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Picture 12

It seems that Bill Clinton basically restored world peace last week when he brought home two American journalists from North Korea. But it’s now known that entertainment mogul and film producer Steve Bing (Beowulf, The Polar Express) was responsible for footing the bill for the plane. Bing has been an influential Democratic fundraiser in the past but he’s a pretty quiet guy so I’m not sure many people know how environmentally-minded he has been over the years.

His Shangri-La Construction only tackles energy efficient buildings and aircraft hangars and works to ensure the promotion of green collar jobs while keeping costs equivalent to traditional methods. The company was responsible for the construction of Burbank Airport’s Hangar 25,  the “most sustainable airplane hangar in the world.”

Shangri-La Industries hired a lobbying firm this year and has spent at least $100,000 lobbying Washington on energy efficiency in buildings and airplane hangars. While he might be pushing pork for profit I have to say that it’s better than investing his cash in, I don’t know, oil/tobacco/nukes?

If you’re still skeptical, his flagship company, Shangri-La Entertainment, was also the go-between for $40.1 million of the total $45.7 million that was raised to support a 2006 California ballot initiative that sought to tax companies drilling for oil in California. Despite his efforts, the measure failed.

For a producer who is independently wealthy to throw his weight behind serious issues like a drilling tax and foot the bill for a company committed to 100% LEED construction is pretty noteworthy. At least in my notebook. It looks like he’s working on expanding to become Shangri-La Solar too.

Now if only he could bankroll some R&D on a fleet of garbage-powered planes to keep in the hangars for any future international rescue missions…

The above image is a detail from a rendering of Hangar 25 via Shangri-La Construction.

  • Pam Jacob


  • Saul M. Detofsky TV Producer

    I support Green jobs too!

    Global Green Cars Inc.
    With a basic starting price of $18,000 our green cars aren’t very expensive. Say good bye to waiting in line buying gasoline and the wasted time having oil changes every 3,000 miles. Never buy gasoline or oil again. Basic model is $18,000 with a 10 year one hundred thousand mile warranty. Drive one hundred miles on a 2.5 hour charge. You might as well make some money with us, investing in GlobalGreenCars.Com and your future. “We are!” Did you know some countries like Norway and Israel have stated that they only want people to use electric cars for transportation and are going to ban the use of all gasoline powered cars? On a fifteen thousand mile usage in one year you save over $3,000.00 in gasoline versus $360.00 for electricity. One model; the Magnum will do 0 to 100 mph in 8.5 seconds and doesn’t burn a drop of fuel. It is faster than any V8 American production car built today.
    Please read about the Green Cars of the future; full electric car that is ready for full production here in Williamsburg, KY USA. We are now breaking ground for the new manufacturing plant in Williamsburg, Kentucky. The President & Founder of Global Green Cars Inc. is Mr. Brook Agnew. The office phone is (208) 366-2185, We have a new model that will be coming soon called the Magnum, a modern style car that will go 8.5 seconds to 100 mph that looks like a cross between a Viper and Corvette. Much more futuristic than what is shown on the website Click or copy & paste link:

    The Mr. Brooks Agnew the CEO & Founder of Global Green Cars Inc. would love to hear from you at (208) 366-2185.

    No gasoline required
    Electric car manufacturer coming to Whitley County in Williamsburg, KY

    Whitley County will be the recipient of an electric car manufacturing facility if a $24 million federal grant is awarded to the car company, according to a Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority report released last week.

    The money would be part of the $378 million set aside nationally for electric car production within the Obama administration’s stimulus package.

    Sirius Energies Corporation, based out of Idaho, specializes in building electric cars and trucks that require no gasoline. They have been building electric cars and modified hybrid cars for 15 years in California and Idaho.

    Company President Brooks Agnew, an alumnus of Western Kentucky University, chose to bring the company to Kentucky mainly because tax incentives offered by the commonwealth were better than offers from any other state he considered for the plant’s location.

    “Kentucky had all the cards — land, incentives, skilled workforce — they had it all,” Agnew said.

    The state has approved $15 million in tax incentives for the company, which plans to invest $33.35 million into the project. Some of those incentives include a rebate on sales taxes for all construction materials and state funds to help train new employees.

    Agnew chose to locate in Whitley County because Paul Campbell, one of his consultants, is originally from the county and suggested the move. Agnew said he also wanted to help the economy in an area that is among the poorest in the nation, and was impressed with the work ethic he sees here.

    “People in Kentucky are notorious for being well-skilled and loyal workers,” Agnew said.

    He said he also chose Kentucky because it’s located in a section of the country known as “Auto Alley” because of the number of automotive plants in the state and surrounding region.

    Agnew’s company, which operates under the name Global Green Cars, Inc., is proposing to build its facility on an 11-acre site off of Watts Creek Road in Williamsburg. Two buildings on the property would be renovated for use as the production facility. Agnew is also considering a 100-acre site in the northern part of Whitley County.

    New battery technology has made today’s Global Green Cars lighter and more efficient than earlier models. The new battery weighs 400 pounds less than the old battery and can charge in one hour instead of overnight.

    The cars will run for 120 miles on a single charge and can be plugged into a wall outlet and charged at night.

    Agnew said he hopes these electric cars will replace service and mail delivery cars maintained with city or government funds. The city of Williamsburg spends $17,000 on gasoline in one year, he said, and if the city used electric cars, that figure would be cut in half.

    “Electricity is cheapest at night, and these cars use less than what it takes to run a water heater,” Agnew said.

    The company is trying to compete with the “big three” car companies — Ford, GM and Chrysler. It’s all about being flexible to what customers want, Agnew said.

    “In today’s automotive industry, it’s not about size, or price or marketing strategies. It’s about agility, and Global Green Cars is agile,” Agnew said.

    “We can give the customer exactly what they want,” he said, referring to specific demographics such as parents who wait on their children in idling SUVs or commuters waiting in traffic on their way to work. Agnew said those types of drivers could save hundreds of dollars a year on gasoline costs.

    Agnew is anxious to start production in Whitley County, and hopes that by next Christmas, the plant will be fully operational with 100 new, locally-hired employees on the assembly line.

    That date can’t come soon enough for Whitley County Magistrate Roger Wells, who thinks the company would help the county tremendously.

    “It would tickle me to death to see it [the company] come in here,” Wells said, stating that the company would help a lot of people, especially with a pay rate of more than $15 per hour.

    Agnew has a joint venture with a car company in China that is sending him cars to “re-make” into Global Green Cars electric models — a pick-up truck, a small SUV and a sports car. As soon as his company is able to finish the pick-up truck, it will be put in the showroom at Paul Steely Ford in Williamsburg for people to view and test drive.

    Agnew said it’s hard to get funding from private investors in this economy and that is why his company has to wait on federal grants. He said the company is “50 percent funded” and if the requested grant money is granted, the plant is “definitely a go.”

    Writer gets to test drive electric car

    I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Even when I was a little girl, I would write stories about fantastic adventures, and as I grew up, I found that I loved to tell other people’s stories as a journalist so that we could all find common ground in this very uneven world.

    But, I have a secret. There is something else at which I’ve always thought I would be excellent. I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I would love to be a race car driver.

    I know, I know — you’re thinking immediately that I’m lying through my teeth about this. You might even be imagining a mullet and a farmer’s tan with a beer cooler in tow. I might have the farmer’s tan, but the mullet can be saved for other people more brave than I, and better equipped to pull it off.

    No, I don’t fit the stereotype, but I do like to drive fast. Don’t tell my mother this, but I’m a self-proclaimed speeder, and you might on occasion — if you are brave enough to ride in the passenger side with me — see me grip the wheel white-knuckled and make a slight revving noise here and there.

    So, when my editor, Samantha Swindler, told me that Global Green Cars, Inc. was test driving one of their electric cars at the Corbin Speedway in anticipation of a brand new plant they plan to build in Williamsburg, KY, I jumped at the chance to drive that car around that track. It would fulfill my secret dream, how could I pass it up?

    Also, I drive a hybrid car, myself, and I was curious as to how a totally electric car would compare to my own.

    Arriving at the track, I expected to see a prototype fit for the finest Detroit Auto Show, with shiny new paint and a fancy dash panel display.

    What I got was a 15-year-old Geo Metro with batteries for a back seat and not even a radio to blast as I drove Mario Andretti-style around the track.

    I was skeptical of this car’s performance. Will it drive faster than a golf-cart? Will I be able to make these turns quickly? Will I even make it around the track without the battery dying?

    Brooks Agnew, the president of Global Green Cars, assured me that this car could perform at the highest standards set by the motor vehicle industry.

    I heard about an actual race car driver taking some laps in the car earlier who said the Geo performed at the same level as his race car. I heard about how the little Geo had more stopping power than gasoline-powered cars in its size category, and about how it could drive over 100 mph if you really wanted it to.

    I was beginning to believe in the electric car.

    I asked Agnew how the car was charged. He simply opened the gas tank door and, where I expected a gas tank cover; there was the end of what looked like an extension cord.

    “You plug it into your garage outlet overnight, and when you wake up in the morning, the car is ready to be driven to and from work and all over town,” Agnew said.

    I don’t know if the “wow” I felt actually came out of my mouth or not, but Agnew then told me to hop in and drive.

    “The moment of truth,” I thought, and also my moment to become that race car driver I’ve always secretly wished to be.

    I sat down in the car, and was ready to put the key in the ignition — but when I looked down; I saw that it was already there. I couldn’t hear a thing. I thought the car was still off.

    “Is it started?” I asked Agnew as he stood outside the driver’s side door. There was no engine noise, no gentle rumble of an idling car. I was taken aback by this. Agnew confirmed that the car was on, and told me that I’m not the only one surprised by the lack of noise the car didn’t make.

    He said people have even asked for a mixed CD of engine sounds to play while driving the car — a driver’s security blanket, of sorts.

    I took the break off and pressed the gas. It was like driving in a vacuum, with the only sound being the wheels on the pavement. It was surreal almost, not hearing the sounds a gasoline powered car makes — the shifting gears, the revving engine. It sounded like a golf cart, but it drove as good as my hybrid — and as good as a car that guzzles gasoline.

    There was no doubt about the electric car’s performance, especially after my inner Dale Earnhardt came out and I punched the gas so I could finally find out what it’s like to be a race car driver.

    I wasn’t disappointed, even if I still had to make the revving sounds.
    The Mr. Brooks Agnew the CEO & Founder of Global Green Cars Inc. would love to hear from you at (208) 366-2185.