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Fracking Drill Bit Campaign Accused of ‘Pinkwashing’

Houston, TX – Baker Hughes, an oilfield services company, is being accused of ‘pinkwashing’ with a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and creating 1,000 hot pink drill bits for their “Doing Our Bit for the Cure” campaign.

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”400px” height=”” background_color=”#4099ff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Environmental activist organization, 350.org, tweeted yesterday: “This #fracking company is trying to #pinkwash their image w/ PINK FRACKING DRILL BITS”[/dropshadowbox]

Partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation gives companies the rights to use the pink ribbon and the specific shade of pink with their products. According to the Komen Foundation’s web site, individuals supporting their corporate partners is a decision of “supporting businesses that care.”

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”650px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]”As a consumer, every purchase decision you make is a choice. And, when you choose to support a business that has partnered with Komen, we know you are making a conscious effort to contribute to our mission to end breast cancer.” – Susan G. Komen Foundation[/dropshadowbox]

Baker Hughes announced on their web site they are donating $100,000 to the Komen Foundation. As a part of their pink campaign, Baker Huges will distribute a total of 1,000 pink drill bits worldwide. According to their web site, “The pink bits serve as a reminder of the importance of supporting research, treatment, screening, and education to help find the cures for this disease.”

Baker Hughes describes itself as “a leading supplier of oilfield services, products, technology and systems to the worldwide oil and natural gas industry.” Baker Hughes provides drill bits used for hydraulic fracturing among other products.

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. The process uses several toxic and carcinogenic chemicals which environmentalists claim may leak into the ground and also makes the millions of gallons of water used in the injection process undrinkable.

Benzene is one of the chemicals reported to used in fracking, which is known to contribute to causing breast cancer in laboratory animals. According to the Breast Cancer Fund, benzene is associated with breast cancer in women at a modest level, and studies show that young male workers exposed to it have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Public awareness of the potential dangers of fracking increased after GaslandTheMovie was produced and distributed in screenings throughout the United States.

In 2011, Democratic members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce released a report, “Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing,” which found that, between 2005 and 2009, 14 leading oil and gas companies used over 2,500 hydraulic fracturing products containing 750 chemicals and components, including benzene a known carcinogen.

The report found that between 2005 and 2009, the oil and gas service companies used hydraulic fracturing products containing 29 chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for their risks to human health, or listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

Martin Craighead, chairman and chief executive officer of Baker Hughes, will present a check to Nancy G. Brinker, chair of global strategy and founder of Susan G. Komen, just prior to the final Pittsburgh Steelers National Football League “pink-out game” on Sunday, October 26, 2014, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

JD Sullivan

JD Sullivan is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Green Action News. He has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism/Mass Communication. JD is passionate about journalism & sustainable living.

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