Arctic Refuge

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In a stunning victory for environmentalists, House leaders have dropped a plan to drill in an Arctic wildlife refuge.

The plan -- which is a pet project of President Bush -- was in the huge budget bill that was to be voted on today. There was so much opposition that House leaders feared it could jeopardize the overall bill.

House leaders also dumped another plan to drop the moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. States would have had the authority to approve such drilling.

The battle over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge isn't over yet. The Senate's budget bill includes a provision for drilling there, so the difference will have to be worked out in a conference committee.