I’m not sure if this is more sad or funny, but it speaks volumes about the intersection of commerce, charity, and the politics which frequently poison both. In what is admittedly an unexpected pairing, Baker Hughes Incorporated – a major energy producer with more than 3,000 rigs operating around the world – teamed up with Susan G. Komen to raise charitable funds and increase breast cancer awareness. In a move similar to the ones undertaken by the NFL and countless other organizations, they adopted the pink color code as part of the effort.

Pink firearms. Pink NFL jerseys. Even pink buckets of fried chicken. Now pink drill bits?

As Baker Hughes joins a string of other companies coating their products in the rose-colored shade to raise awareness about breast cancer, some may wonder if the pink ribbon campaign has gone a bit too far. After all, drill bits spend most of their lives miles underground breaking up geologic formations in oil patches where a fraction of workers are women.

But the Houston-based oil field services company says that’s precisely the point.

“Our hope is from the water cooler to the rig site to the coffee shop to everywhere, someone gets this information to their spouses, their girlfriends, their daughters so we can create awareness and end this disease forever,” said Bill Debo, director of operations for U.S. land drill bits at Baker Hughes.

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