New Mexico legislators have a no-brainer piece of legislation staring them in the face in January: They can push oil companies to begin revealing the chemicals they use in their fracking operations.

A recent report by Physicians for Social Responsibility contends chemicals that cause cancer are being used in hydraulic fracturing operations around the state, increasing the risk of toxic byproducts that can contaminate groundwater. It’s a contention the industry dismisses, in part because it argues the process has been shown to be safe for people and the environment.

The watchdog group of doctors claims state records indicate companies have injected thousands of pounds of PFAS into about 260 sites around the state in the past decade. State officials are unusually — and cryptically — mum on the subject, perhaps aware how explosive the emotions around PFAS chemicals can be. Exhibit A is the situation in Eastern New Mexico, where chemicals used at Cannon Air Force Base have become a troubling environmental disaster.

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