President Obama's Friday news conference, which reporters were informed of the day earlier, was initially intended to give him a chance to respond to increasing Republican attacks on his energy policy.
With rising gas prices in recent weeks as the backdrop, Republicans have charged that his administration's restrictions on domestic oil production were keeping gas prices higher than they'd be otherwise.
Forty U.S. billionaires pledged Wednesday to give at least half of their wealth to charity -- either during their lifetimes or after death.
That could be a big boost to nonprofits, which have suffered from the recent economic downturn.
The list of those taking the pledge includes some of the nation's wealthiest individuals: Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, T. Boone Pickens, Michael Bloomberg and George Lucas of Star Wars fame.
This week, President Obama ended a ban on oil and gas drilling along some parts of the U.S. Atlantic coast and northern Alaska. The president's decision has staggered some of his own environmental supporters, but others say the decision is necessary to help decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil or win bipartisan support for an energy and climate change bill.