Bechtel Group, Inc.

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Bechtel Group, Inc. is the largest contractor in the U.S. The company does construction projects worldwide. It has been involved in such projects as the cleanup at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the construction of Hoover Dam. The company makes most of its money from oil, gas & chemicals and from government contracts. With Chairman and CEO Riley P. Bechtel at the head, the Bechtel family is in its fourth generation of leadership of the company. [1]

Bechtel is a defense contractor with very strong political ties and a long history of doing business in Iraq, including an unsuccessful pipeline deal that at one point involved a meeting between Donald H. Rumsfeld, former secretary of defense, and Saddam Hussein. That project later drew scrutiny from a special prosecutor looking into allegations of impropriety involving Edwin A. Meese III, the former White House counsel and attorney general in the Reagan administration. [1]

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Coal projects sponsored by Bechtel

Renewable energy projects

  • Lake Erie wind project near Cleveland, Ohio[2]
  • Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, Mohave Desert, California[3]

Bechtel connections

With Bin Laden Group

Jane Mayer of The New Yorker writes about the connections of Bechtel, the Bin Laden Group/family, and Bush, and past, administration officials, "The bin Ladens have a ten-million-dollar stake in the Fremont Group, a San Francisco-based company formerly called Bechtel Investments, which was until 1986 a subsidiary of Bechtel. The Fremont Group's Web site, which makes no mention of the bin Ladens, notes that 'though now independent, Fremont enjoys a close relationship with Bechtel.' Mayer further writes, "One Fremont director, Riley Bechtel, is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Bechtel Group, and is a member of the Bush administration: he was appointed this year to serve on the President's Export Council. In addition, George P. Shultz, the Secretary of State in the Ronald Reagan Administration, serves as a director both of Fremont and of the Bechtel Group, where he once was president and still is listed as senior counsellor." [2]

With U.S. Government

  • "Former Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, was vice president and general counsel of the Bechtel Group before going to Washington in 1980." [3]

Political contributions

The Bechtel political action committee gave $269,500 to federal candidates in the 2006 election - 37% to Democrats and 62% to Republicans. [4]


CorpWatch wrote in 2003, George P. Schultz, Bechtel board member, "used his political connections to lobby on behalf of a military invasion of Iraq. Bechtel received a request to bid on the reconstruction of Iraq before the invasion even began in a secret, undemocratic process. The contract itself has still not been seen by the Congress, much less the American public. Bechtel has once again used its revolving door to benefit itself and its friends at the expense of the majorities of the world's people and the planet." [5]

The company spent $540,000 for lobbying in 2006. Six lobbying firms were used along with in-house lobbyists. [6]


[7] Key executives:

Selected board members:

Contact details

50 Beale St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-768-1234
Fax: 415-768-9038

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Bechtel Profile, Hoovers, accessed August 2007.
  2. New projects.
  3. Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System.
  4. 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed August 2007.
  5. "Bechtel: Profiting from Destruction", CorpWatch, June 5, 2003.
  6. Bechtel lobbying expenses, Open Secrets.
  7. Leadership, Bechtel, accessed August 2007.

External resources

External articles