Plans to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge were dropped from the House budget reconcilation bill tonight. Credit goes to GOP Rep. Charles Bass of New Hampshire and 24 fellow Republicans who threatened to vote against the bill unless the drilling provisions was dropped.

It’s not the end of the battle — efforts are surely underway already to get the language back in — but it’s a surprising show of strength by refuge defenders. And yet another blow to poor, beleaguered Bush.