Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.
|CEO Name||Douglas Oberhelman|
|CEO Retirement Assets||$15,088,189|
|Underfunded Company Pension||-$4,785,000,000|
|Annual Company Revenue||$60,138,000,000|
|Territorial Tax Break||$4,550,000,000|
|Federal Lobbying/Political Donations ('09-'12*)||$10,662,660|
|Click here for sources.
2011 data unless otherwise noted.
©2013 Center for Media and Democracy
Caterpillar is the world's largest maker of earthmoving machinery, such as bulldozers. Its products include construction, agricultural, mining, and logging machinery, and diesel and natural gas engines. It sells its equipment in 180 countries.
In 2011, Caterpillar, Inc. reported $60,138,000,000 in sales and revenues.
Ties to Pete Peterson's "Fix the Debt"
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Caterpillar is part of the Campaign to Fix the Debt as of February 2013.
This article is part of the Center for Media and Democracy's investigation of Pete Peterson's Campaign to "Fix the Debt." Please visit our main SourceWatch page on Fix the Debt.
|About Fix the Debt|
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Through a special report and new interactive wiki resource, the Center for Media and Democracy -- in partnership with the Nation magazine -- exposes the funding, the leaders, the partner groups, and the phony state "chapters" of this astroturf supergroup. Learn more at PetersonPyramid.org and in the Nation magazine.
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
Board of Directors
As of January 2013 
- David L. Calhoun
- Daniel M. Dickinson
- Eugene V. Fife
- Juan Gallardo
- David R. Goode
- Jesse J. Greene, Jr.
- Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
- Peter A. Magowan
- Dennis A. Muilenburg
- Douglas R. Oberhelman - Chairman and CEO
- William A. Osborn
- Charles D. Powell
- Edward B. Rust, Jr.
- Susan C. Schwab
- Joshua I. Smith
- Miles D. White
Former board members include
- W. Frank Blount, Chairman and CEO of JI Ventures, Inc. (venture capital) and TTS Management Corporation (private equity management).
- Douglas R. Oberhelman - Chairman and CEO
- Bradley M. Halverson
- Stuart L. Levenick
- Ed Rapp
- D. James Umpleby
- Steven H. Wunning
Former executives(and 2006 pay) include
- James W. Owens, Chairman and CEO, $14,818,621 (also exercised $3,215,228 in options)
- David B. Burritt, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, $1,966,688
- John S. Heller, Vice President and Chief Information Officer
- Gerald L. Shaheen, Divisional President, $5,373,275
- Gerard R. Vittecoq, Divisional President, $6,375,508 (also exercised $1,021,863 in options)
Caterpillar gave $529,000 to federal candidates in the 05/06 election period through its political action committee - 17% to Democrats, 83% to Republicans.  2012 PAC Contribution Data: Contributions from this PAC to federal candidates: $632,000 14% to Democrats, 86% to Republicans
Using Illegal Emission Control "Defeat Devices"
Caterpillar, along with five other companies, were selling truck engines with illegal emission control "defeat devices." The emission control equipment works during pre-sale emissions tests in order to pass the tests, but then is de-activated during highway driving. The engines then produce triple the legal amount of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx). In 1998 alone, 1.3 million extra tons of NOx were put into the atmosphere this way. 
Caterpillar bulldozers in Palestine
Caterpillar has been selling weaponised bulldozers to Israel which are used to tear down houses in Palestine. In 2003, Rachel Corrie of the U.S. was killed in Palestine by such a bulldozer when she was trying to prevent the destruction of a Palestinian house. Emad Mekay of Inter Press News Service writes, "The parents of a U.S. peace activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer built by the global machinery giant Caterpillar confronted the company Wednesday for the first time and urged shareholders at its annual meeting to end sales of 'weaponised bulldozers to Israel'.
"Cindy and Craig Corrie, parents of the late Rachel Corrie, attended the meeting as proxy voters on behalf of Jewish and Christian institutional investors who have filed a resolution asking for greater corporate accountability from Caterpillar.
"Activists supporting the parents who lost their daughter in 2003 say that the company sells machinery to the Israeli army in violation of its corporate accountability pledge and knowing full well that the equipment will be used for the destruction of Palestinian homes and farms."
In 2005, a lawsuit was brought against Caterpillar after human rights groups sent more than 50,000 letters to Caterpillar Inc. executives and CEO Jim Owens decrying the use of its bulldozers to carry out human rights abuses. Families represented by CCR, the Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic at Seattle University School of Law, the Public Interest Law Group PLLC, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights were involved in the case. The suit accuses Caterpillar Inc. for violating international, federal, and state law by selling D9 bulldozers to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) knowing they would be used to unlawfully demolish homes and potentially harm citizens.
The claims against Caterpillar Inc. for selling bulldozers includes the following violations.
- The Alien Tort Statute (ATS), a 1789 statute giving non-U.S. citizens the right to file suits in U.S. courts for international human rights violations.
- The Fourth Geneva Convention, Additional Protocol I, and customary international law, which prohibit war crimes such as collective punishment and destruction of civilian property not justified by military necessity.
- The Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), passed by Congress in 1992, which allows individuals to seek damages in U.S. courts for torture or extrajudicial killing, regardless of where the violations take place.
In 2005, Judge Burgess in the Western District of Washington granted Caterpillar’s motion to dismiss the case without permitting discovery or hearing oral argument. CCR appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and oral arguments were heard on July 9, 2007. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal on September 17, 2007, under the political question doctrine. Plaintiffs filed a petition for rehearing or en banc which is currently pending.
On July 9, 2007, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Seattle heard oral arguments concerning whether or not the case should be reinstated. However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that it did not have jurisdiction to decide the case. That same year, plaintiffs filed a petition for panel rehearsing and rehearsing en banc. In 2009, this petition was denied.
Caterpillar and coal
It was reported in January 2011 that Caterpillar was making inroads in China's longwall coal mining. They will be supplying companies with automated longwall coal plow systems.
Involvement in the Toxic Sludge Industry
Caterpillar manufactures equipment intended to handle toxic sludge, to dump it in landfills and to spread it on agricultural land. Caterpillar, Inc. was an exhibitor at the 2011 BioCycle 11th Annual Conference on "Renewable Energy from Organics Recycling." BioCycle Magazine is a publication serving the interests of the sewage sludge industry.
A list of just some of the hazardous chemicals and pathogens found in sludge can be found in the article Sludge contaminants. Sludge contaminants include Dioxins and Furans, Flame Retardants, Metals, Organochlorine Pesticides, 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (DBCP), Naphthalene, Triclosan, Nonylphenols, Phthalates, Nanosilver, and thousands more substances. "Sewage is the mix of water and whatever wastes from domestic and industrial life are flushed into the sewer. ... We must note that, though the aim of sewage treatment is to produce clean water, it is never to produce 'clean' sludge. Indeed, the 'dirtier' the sludge - the more complete its concentration of the noxious wastes - the more the treatment has done its job. ... very waste produced in our society that can be got rid of down toilets and drains and that can also be got out of the sewage by a given treatment process will be in the sludge. Sludge is thus inevitably a noxious brew of vastly various and incompatible materials unpredictable in themselves and in the toxicity of their amalgamation, incalculably but certainly wildly dangerous to life." 
According to Sludge News, "[t]he policy of disposing of sludge by spreading it on agricultural land - a policy given the benign term 'land application' - has its inception in the Ocean Dumping ban of 1987. Before 1992, when the law went into effect, the practice had been, after extracting the sludge from the wastewater, to load it on barges and dump it 12, and later 106 miles off shore into the ocean. But many people who cared about life in the ocean knew that, wherever it was dumped, the sludge was causing vast dead moon-scapes on the ocean floor. New EPA regulations for 'land application' were promulgated in 1993. With the aid of heating and pelletizing and some slippery name morphs along the way, EPA claimed sludge could be transmogrified into 'compost' ... . But the land “application” of sewage sludge ... will pollute the whole chain of life for which soil is the base." 
100 NE Adams Street
Peoria, IL 61629
Resources and articles
Featured SourceWatch Articles on Fix the Debt
- Fix the Debt Portal Page
- Fix the Debt's Leadership
- Fix the Debt's Partner Groups
- Fix the Debt's State Chapters
- Fix the Debt's Lobbyists
- Fix the Debt's Parent Group
- Fix the Debt's Corporations
- Pete Peterson
- Peter G. Peterson Foundation
- America Speaks
- Simpson-Bowles Commission
- Erskine Bowles
- Alan Simpson
- Social Security
Related SourceWatch Resources
- David Macaray, "The Caterpillar Strike as Metaphor: If Labor Unions Can’t Put the Brakes on This Thing, Who Can?", Counterpunch, August 17-19, 2012.
- Dominique Paul Noth, "How Caterpillar Ruined a Union Manufacturing Success Story", In These Times, May 2, 2013.
- ↑ Profile, Hoovers, accessed July 2007.
- ↑ Caterpillar, "2011 Year In Review", organizational document, page 65.
- ↑ Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, "Corporations and Trades Associations that Fund ALEC," Corporate America's Trojan Horse in the States: The Untold Story Behind the American Legislative Exchange Council, online report, 2003
- ↑ Caterpillar, Board of Directors, organizational website, accessed January 2013.
- ↑ Board of Directors, accessed July 2007.
- ↑ Officers, accessed July 2007.
- ↑ James W Owens, Forbes, accessed February 2008.
- ↑ David B Burritt, Forbes, accessed February 2008.
- ↑ Gerald L Shaheen, Forbes, accessed February 2008.
- ↑ Gerard R Vittecoq, Forbes, accessed February 2008.
- ↑ 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed July 2007.
- ↑ 2012 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed March 2013.
- ↑ Caterpillar lobbying expenses, Open Secrets.
- ↑ "Clean Air Villain of the Month", Clean Air Trust, August 2000.
- ↑ Emad Mekay, "Caterpillar Pressured Over 'Weaponised Bulldozers'", Inter Press News Service/CorpWatch, June 15, 2006.
- ↑ Factsheet: Home Demolitions and Caterpillar Center for Constitutional Rights, accessed March 2013.
- ↑ Corrie et al. v. Caterpillar Center for Constitutional Rights, accessed March 2013.
- ↑ "Caterpillar makes further inroads into Chinese longwall coal" John Cadwell, Mineweb, January 2012.
- ↑ Caterpillar, Inc., Waste Landfills, corporate Equipment Selection and Application Guide, accessed November 3, 2011
- ↑ BioCycle, Exhibitor Directory, publisher's website, accessed November 3, 2011
- ↑ About Sewage Sludge, SludgeNews.com, Accessed June 18, 2010.
- ↑ About Sewage Sludge, SludgeNews.com, accessed June 18, 2010