Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "bechtel" ...

  • The Profiteers

    The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. “Dad” Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam. From that auspicious start, the family and its eponymous company would go on to “build the world,” from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe. Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatization of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively. Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel presents a complex and riveting narrative. In The Profiteers, Sally Denton, whom The New York Times called “a wonderful writer,” exposes Bechtel’s secret world and one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.
  • Lethal and Leaking

    In Hanford, WA millions of gallons of nuclear waste have been stored underground. The Department of Energy has been working to clean up the site since the early 1990s. However due to engineering miscalculations, the development of a treatment plant is behind schedule. Errors such as defective equipment and other mistakes that risk the safety of the plant have forced the price of the clean up to triple.
  • Easy Pass: Why Bechtel Never Paid for its Big Dig Mistakes"

    The Boston Globe investigates "who, if anyone, was to blame for more than $1.6 billion in construction cost overruns on the nation's largest, most expensive public works project, "the Big Dig," and why those responsible had never been held accountable. What we found was that Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, the mega-corporate joint venture running the project, committed a series of poor decisions, design mistakes, and imprecise research findings that led to about two-thirds of the overruns. The company's political connections, lobbyists, and cross pollination with state and federal officials go a long way toward explaining why the company was never held accountable."
  • Trouble on Tap

    "The story explored the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's decisions to award San Francisco-based Bechtel Group with a $45 million contract to manage the renovation of the city's water system." Bechtel's track record in Bolivia points to cost increases and privatization, and in that case, riots in response to water rate hikes.
  • The Earth Wrecker

    This article examines the history of Bechtel Group Inc., a giant multinational engineering and construction firm based out of San Francisco. Among other findings, Chatterjee reports that a subsidiary of Bechtel Group Inc. in Bolivia had hiked prices by as much as 300 percent.
  • Bechtel's $45 Million Screw Job

    A four-month SFBG investigation concluded that the city of San Francisco is wasting money on a contract with Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation to help manage reconstruction of the city's water system. The story looks at the problems of privatization.
  • (Untitled)

    New West runs article on the possible safety defects at the Rancho Seco nuclear power plant in Sacramento, Calif.; piece details engineering miscalculations and poor structural designs by Bechtel Corp.
  • Shady international dealings of the Bechtel Corporation

    Mother Jones researches shady international dealings of the Bechtel Corporation.