Maybe we should all be drinking rocket fuel contaminants in our water, along with the fluoride? Maybe it makes us more productive, perkier, or willing to max out our credit cards and spend more money to keep our consumer driven economy afloat (which is after all the ultimate act of patriotic sacrifice any American can offer to our country). Maybe a little rocket fuel is good for men with erectile dysfunction, or maybe it helps post-menopausal women regain their youthful vim and vigor.

Why are you talking about rocket fuel contaminants in our water supply, Steven D (I know you’re asking that of me, I can feel it)? And why do you suggest the crazy notion that the chemical contamination of the water we drink might actually have a beneficial effect? Well, those are easy questions to answer. I’m writing about, and speculating on the imagined health benefits of, rocket fuel in our water supply, because that’s the only possible explanation I can offer that doesn’t presuppose a sinister motive or malicious intent for this story:

WASHINGTON (AP) — An EPA official said Tuesday there’s a “distinct possibility” the agency won’t take action to rid drinking water of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that has contaminated public water supplies around the country. Democratic senators called that unacceptable. They argued that states and local communities shouldn’t have to bear the expense of cleansing their drinking water of perchlorate, which has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states – or the risk of not doing so.

The toxin interferes with thyroid function and poses developmental health risks, particularly to fetuses.

Oh well, so it might harm a few fetuses. Or a lot of fetuses. Big deal. It’s not like we really care about what happens to the unborn in America. At least, certainly not if you’re a Republican. Besides more study about the issue is what’s really important:

Benjamin Grumbles, assistant administrator for water at the Environmental Protection Agency, told a Senate hearing that EPA is aware that perchlorate is widespread and poses health risks.

But he said that after years of study, EPA has yet to determine whether regulating perchlorate in drinking water would do much good.

When in doubt, just leave it alone. Because we wouldn’t want to mess with the deleterious effects regulation of a known toxic pollutant might create for — the military industrial complex, now would we?

“EPA is trying to shunt the scientists to the back, put the DOD contractors to the front,” [Democratic Senator] Boxer chided. “We want to see action by the scientists. We want to see a standard set.” […]

Most perchlorate contamination resulted from Defense Department activities. The Pentagon could face huge cleanup costs if EPA sets a national drinking water standard for the contaminant, and DOD has tussled with EPA over the issue, according to a report last week by congressional investigators.

Well, it is wartime, after all. And we all need to make sacrifices for the common good. Still, if I were you, and I lived in a district or state represented by a Republican Congressperson or Senator, I just might give them a call and ask them why President Bush and his officials at EPA and the Department of Defense want to harm pregnant women and unborn babies, and even regular old folks like yourselves, by exposing them to toxic rocket fuel chemicals like perchlorate in their drinking water? Just for the record. I’d really be curious to hear what responses they have to that question.

It’s not like Republicans can’t be compassionate and caring when it comes to protecting human life. At least, that’s the rumor I’ve seen spread on the internet. Somewhere. Or other.

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