"Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) this week blocked a package of public lands bills pushed by Democratic leadership after the removal of his own proposal to promote a land exchange in Arizona to allow a new copper mine.
An earlier version of the unanimous consent (UC) proposal from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) included McCain and Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-Ariz.) "Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act," S. 409, which would give the Agriculture Department final say over a land exchange to allow a new copper mine on a national forest in Arizona.
The bill is opposed by environmental groups, American Indian tribes and Arizona's Democratic House members but passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in March.
A larger earlier package by Reid also included proposals to designate more than 300,000 acres of new wilderness, establish new national parks and monuments and protect critical watersheds, forests and endangered species."
Phil Taylor reports for Greenwire December 23, 2010.