Notably, Reagan's cabinet had two former Bechtel executives: Caspar Weinberger and George Shultz, serving as Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State respectively. The younger Bechtel also hired Caspar Weinberger, who had been Richard Nixon's budget manager and secretary of health, education, and welfare, to be Bechtel's general counsel. W. A. Bechtel Co. was a family business from the beginning. A major donor, Bechtel has a conspicuous presence on campus with the Bechtel International Center and Bechtel Conference Center. And as late as two weeks ago, 43 people were arrested protesting in front of Bechtel's headquarters near Beale and Market streets. Through its Bechtel Enterprises, the firm finances construction and other jobs in exchange for an ownership stake. (Bechtel-McCone also had sites near Sausalito and Richmond.) [177][178] Since the 1950s, Bechtel has designed, serviced, or delivered 80 percent of all nuclear plants in the U.S.[90], As of 2019, Bechtel leads or is a member of a consortium that manage a national laboratory and a number of national security-related facilities in the U.S., including: the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the combined operations of the Y-12 National Security Complex and the Pantex Plant. But in 1998, when Democrats controlled the White House, some 67 percent of Bechtel's contributions went to their party. [183], Other government work includes the construction of the facilities to treat the liquid radioactive waste stored underground at the Department of Energy's Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington. Bechtel, the $21.8 billion (revenues) engineering and construction business based in Virginia, has been family run for five generations. [110] The Infrastructure unit had also worked on projects for Google Fiber in several markets in the Southeastern U.S.[111][112][113], Among completed projects, Bechtel finished a 10.8 miles (17.4 km) four-lane motorway in Kosovo a year ahead of schedule in November 2013. [166], The company was part of a consortium selected by PTT GC America in 2015 to provide front-end engineering and design for a new petrochemical complex in Belmont County, Ohio. But the result was that water rates rose beyond what Cochabamba's citizens could pay, leaving many without water and sparking violent riots. Mr. Bechtel is a Republican in politics, and in fraternal connection a member of Columbus Lodge, No. [195], In August 2017, Bechtel took over as the lead contractor to complete construction at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle. The center also provides virtual training and augmented reality to train workers. The company built roads, bridges, and highways throughout the western United States. The $6.5 billion project is part of the National Nuclear Security Administration program to replace aging, Cold War-era facilities that service, refresh, and replace the uranium stages of nuclear warheads. [49], In 2007, Bechtel began work on the Romanian A3 motorway (Autostrada Transilvania) and Albanian motorways. [80][81][82] Its corporate values include safety, quality, and ethics. [6] In 1906, W. A. Bechtel won his first subcontract to build part of the Oroville-to-Oakland section of the Western Pacific Railroad. And that network started long before there was a man named Bush in high office or a war in an oil-rich country called Iraq. [12][16], In 1949, Bechtel began working with nuclear power after being contracted to build the Experimental Breeder Reactor I in Idaho. [126], The Mining & Metals (M&M) unit works on projects related to the mining and production of materials such as aluminum, coal, copper, iron ore, alumina and other metals and minerals. [144], In 2016, Bechtel completed work on Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar 2 nuclear reactor. The company worked on its first hydroelectric projects in the 1920s for Pacific Gas and Electric Company in California. The surname Bechtel was first found in Hessen, where the family contributed greatly to the development of an emerging nation. Bechtel Co. was founded in Oakland during the late 1800s, doing construction work for the railroads' expansion into the west. Brendan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geography from Middlebury College. [107][108] Bechtel is also working on a project for Advanced Power, the Cricket Valley Energy Center in New York. But to assume that George Shultz somehow was single-handedly responsible for Bechtel's Iraq contract, or, for that matter, that his involvement was necessary for the company to get the job, is to ignore Bechtel's all but permanent place in the global power structure. [25] The company also built the Ankara-Gerede Motorway in Turkey as part of the network of roadways linking Europe and Asia in 1986. A Family Business. The companies did not admit wrongdoing; they said they settled to avoid long, costly litigation. The tunnel was completed in 1994. [115][116] Bechtel also completed the Hanna Region Transmission Development, a power transmission project in Canada, which included 1,200 new transmission towers and 85 miles (137 km) of transmission lines in 2013. Founded in 1898 by Warren Bechtel, the company has always been controlled by the Bechtel family. A century later, the Bechtel Group has revenues of $11.6 billion a year and manages more than 900 projects in 60 countries. [189], The unit also manages U.S. Department of Defense contracts to dismantle and dispose of stored chemical weapons, including decades-old mustard and nerve gas from World War II. The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World pulls back the curtain on the secretive family’s global empire, the Bechtel Corporation, exposing its rampant abuse of corporate and political power. [104][105][106], In 2018, Bechtel's work on Panda Power Funds' Hummel Station Power Plant in Pennsylvania was completed. As Bechtel's projects have grown larger and more complicated, its owners and managers have manufactured opportunity through carefully cultivated relationships with political and business power brokers. Rightly or wrongly, Bechtel may be the case study that explains how business is done between multinational construction giants and the governments that approve and fund the projects those giants engineer and build. The social connections even extend to golf; Riley and Stephen are members of the Augusta National golf club in Georgia, home to the storied Masters tournament and recent subject of protest because of its refusal to admit women as members. Bechtel contributed $685,125 to California politics during the past decade, $65,000 of which was directly related to the BART system, in which Bechtel is a contractor. [87], The Infrastructure unit handles transportation, power, and hydroelectric facilities. Riley Bechtel ran Bechtel, his family's construction and engineering firm, from 1990 to 2014. [50][51], Other major projects at the end of the 2000s included the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state,[52] Jamnagar Refinery expansion in India,[53] Equatorial GuineaLNG,[54] and Oak Creek Power Plant in Wisconsin. [73], Outside of North America, the Infrastructure unit's headquarters is located at the company's London office. Again, the membership roster here is filled with directors of major corporations and big political donors. For three generations, the Bechtel family has been dedicated to improving public works and public life in California and throughout the globe. Digital Press Release Service KISS PR Offers Great News for Content Creators in 2021! Under his leadership, the Hoover Dam was finished in 1935. Within hours of the United States military's invasion of Iraq, San Franciscans of a certain political bent went on the offensive against one of the city's home-grown businesses: the Bechtel Group Inc. The public heat only intensified with news that the engineering and construction firm had been included in the handful of companies chosen in secret to bid on the government's reconstruction efforts in Iraq — and subsequently won the job. Even Bechtel's charitable gifts, through the Bechtel Foundation, seem related to business, often going to the universities with engineering schools that accept and then graduate Bechtel employees. Shamann Walton Elected Board President, Savage Love: Cooped Up, Going Nowhere & Coming Never. Atop of the mountain is Bachtel Tower, a 60 m (200 ft) tall radio tower. Bechtel, Sidney Alroy 88, died at Good Samaritan- Ambassador Nursing Home on November 29, 2020 from complica- tions of COVID-19. [144], The Oil, Gas & Chemicals unit designs and builds liquefied natural gas (LNG), oil, pipeline, petrochemicals, natural gas, and water treatment facilities. Another Bechtel public-private partnership is building and modernizing rail lines in and around London, where Bechtel and its partners will operate parts of the rail lines. The Export-Import Bank of the United States, which loans money to foreign countries for the export of American goods and services, counted Stephen D. Bechtel Sr. among the members of its advisory committee from 1969 to 1972, and the engineering firm has maintained numerous ties since, with a company vice president now on the bank's advisory committee. Departments of Defense and Energy. [70][71] The company's Oil, Gas & Chemicals unit is based in the Houston office. [132], In 2015, the unit completed the Las Bambas copper concentrator in Peru for MMG,[133] the Kitimat aluminum smelter in Canada for Rio Tinto Group.,[134] and the Escondida Organic Growth Project 1 (OGP1), the largest single-line copper concentrator ever built. [7][8], Warren Bechtel died unexpectedly in 1933 while in Moscow on business. [103] Considered Australia's largest public infrastructure project, the work includes new twin rail tunnels under Sydney Harbour. [43][44] Management of the project has been the subject of controversy including the Department of Energy's Inspector General reports and Government Accountability Office studies regarding rising costs, nuclear safety and quality, and whistleblower allegations. The company had no prior experience in shipbuilding, but bid for the entire 60 ships. [197][198], Brendan Bechtel is Chairman and CEO and is the fifth generation of the Bechtel family to lead the company. [162][163] In 2016, Bechtel completed roof raises on two tanks at a liquefaction plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, for Cheniere. The Jacob H. Bechtel papers contains 20 letters written by Jacob H. Bechtel to his brother, George, and represents a microcosm of the civilian Civil War experience in Virginia. [150][144] It completed the first of six trains in December 2014. [81][155] Following completion of Train 1 in late 2017, Train 2 of the facility moved into production mid-2018. [191] Since May 2012, Bechtel has been part of a consortium completing the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement, a structure that will safely confine the damaged Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor Number 4. In fact, concerned about security, the family is so secretive that it successfully petitioned courts to seal the Bechtels' voter registration records some years ago, and their personal assets are held primarily in the name of a private corporation. [15][18][23] During the 1960s and 1970s, Bechtel was involved in constructing 40 percent of the nuclear plants in the United States. According to a report published by the Institute for Policy Studies earlier this year, the Export-Import Bank of the United States approved a preliminary commitment of nearly $500 million for the project — an unprecedented loan to Iraq — and negotiations to assure the pipeline's safety were under way with then-Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, through an intermediary. In the summer of 2006, a faulty tunnel ceiling panel collapsed, killing a motorist. The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World by Sally Denton is a highly recommended corporate/social/political account of the start and the growth of the global megacompany the Bechtel Corporation. 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