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Bechtel strikes again.
July 19, 2006 2:47 PM   Subscribe

Lots of people are not happy with Bechtel Engineering, the giant-sized general contractor and designer of The Big Dig, who are also in trouble for problems with the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal plant. How many nuclear generating stations did Bechtel build?
posted by baylink (15 comments total)

 
Bechtel is pretty dirty. They used a little-known clause in NAFTA to threaten the Mexican government into taking over their water treatment and delivery services. Once Bechtel came in, they raised water prices to the point where few locals could afford them.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:55 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Confessions of an Economic Hitman
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:56 PM on July 19, 2006


Oops: [ via ]
posted by baylink at 2:57 PM on July 19, 2006


Bechtel did the Big Dig? Figures. That makes perfect sense.
posted by loquacious at 3:09 PM on July 19, 2006


Tune in next week, same bech time same bech channel...
posted by paxton at 3:30 PM on July 19, 2006


As I understand, what makes Bechtel magical is they are a large private company, so they are 'more effective' at 'hiding' projects as they don't have the same public reporting requirements as others.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:37 PM on July 19, 2006


Every time I have to go in and out of Boston for the indefinite future, I'll be sitting in gridlock thanks to these clowns.

However, that is nothing compared to what the family of Ms. Del Valle, the Big Dig collapse victim, will have to go through. It's also minor compared to those who lost a 17 year old loved one, or the hundreds injured, fighting the privatization of their water supply in Bolivia. I don't have time to complete it, but the list goes on and on.
posted by rollbiz at 3:52 PM on July 19, 2006


Ugh. Comma, crazy in, my, last, comment,,,

Sorry.
posted by rollbiz at 3:56 PM on July 19, 2006


Every time I have to go in and out of Boston for the indefinite future, I'll be sitting in gridlock thanks to these clowns......It's also minor compared to those who lost a 17 year old loved one, or the hundreds injured, fighting the privatization of their water supply in Bolivia.
posted by rollbiz at 3:52 PM PST


Sir,

Why do you hate America so?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:28 PM on July 19, 2006


Another division of the federal government this year questioned the amount Bechtel said would be needed to maintain trailers shipped to Mississippi to house people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Bechtel was one of several companies tapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to supply housing. A review by the Defense Contract Audit Agency, however, questioned $48 million of Bechtel's estimates for trailer maintenance. That led U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, a Los Angeles Democrat and a frequent Bechtel critic, to say the company was trying to double-bill the government.

Menaker called the problem an error and said it was immediately corrected. He added that the company never charged the government the disputed amount. Rather, he said the incident shows how federal contracts are supposed to work. Bechtel gave a cost estimate, the government reviewed it and corrected mistakes, and the work was able to proceed.

"It's a good example of the system working, under federal auditors," he said. "It's also a good case of how the public was not double billed."
(Bolding mine.) Unbelievable. Worth a good laugh, though.
posted by moira at 5:29 PM on July 19, 2006


Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aguas_de_Tunari

"In 1943, the "Truman Committee" released a scathing judgment on the $143 million CANOL project, calling it more destructive to the war effort than any act of sabotage by an enemy. The judgment singled out Bechtel-Price-Callahan for criticism for its role in the cost overruns and mismanagement that plagued the project."
posted by hank at 5:44 PM on July 19, 2006


This article is indicative of the total lack of context Big Media provides its consumers.

How is Bechtel related to the government?

Well, very intimately is the short answer, as sonofsamiam alluded to in his reference to Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

As taxpayers and consumers, are we entitled to that information, or do we have to dig it out for ourselves?

Media: Dig for us, man. We have other jobs to do. That's your's. And it doesn't take much digging, either.
posted by kozad at 7:25 PM on July 19, 2006


Just out of curiosity, what percentage of Bechtel projects end in catastrophe? How is that comparable to other engineering companies? It's irresponsible to criticize the company without showing that they are worse then average, in my opinion.
posted by delmoi at 8:23 PM on July 19, 2006


"How many nuclear generating stations did Bechtel build?"
posted by baylink


'... "Nobody doubted that nuclear energy could work. The real question was, could anyone make a profit in it?" recall the authors of Bechtel: Building a Century , the coffee table book that the company produced to mark the company's 100th anniversary in 1998. ...'

"The company estimates that it has built 40% of the United States nuclear capacity and 50% of nuclear power plants in the developing world. That accounts for 1,200 reactor years at 150 nuclear power plants. Indeed, Bechtel is still building nuclear reactors including the 1,450 megawatt nuclear reactor in Qinshan, China."
posted by paulsc at 5:02 AM on July 20, 2006




Wow. They are privately held, so any type of standards, etc. don't necessarily apply (e.g. SOX) - the only report you get is this slim thing.

Money goes in, and a whole bunch of handwaving takes place afer that. I would think an accounting standard for anyone taking government money should be applied; part of that standard would be a report.

I have to think about this for awhile....
posted by fluffycreature at 10:16 AM on July 20, 2006


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