VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE (AP) — U.S. Air Force officials are considering leasing land to private companies to drill for oil and gas on California’s central coast.

The Los Angeles Times reports a proposal opposed by environmental groups would require the first new offshore lease for drilling in state waters since the 1960s.

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Military officials will study the proposal from Sunset Exploration and Exxon Mobil.

Environmental groups have long fought drilling on California’s coast, saying it poses risks to marine life.

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Sunset and Exxon tried to drill on the land in 2006, but their application was found incomplete by Santa Barbara County because the military didn’t approve it.

Military officials say Vandenberg has five active oil wells.

To advance the project also need approval from the State Lands Commission and the California Coastal Commission.

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