A number of positive trends support the Federal Reserve chief's statement that the recession has "very likely" ended.
The sharp decline in drilling – a 46 percent drop compared with last year – could push up future energy prices.
They've dropped 5 cents over the past week and oil is down from $71 to below $60 a barrel. But lower fuel prices may not make an impression on recession-hit consumers.
With competing bills in the House and Senate, Democrats struggle to agree on key climate and energy reforms.
The "green" energy and transportation sector is emerging as a vital part of the US economy, though still small compared with oil and gas, says a new study.
The compromise measure would mandate reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions and require greater use of renewable energy. The Senate could be a major stumbling block.
With crude oil stocks high and gasoline demand low, US drivers may get a reprieve from the customary spring spike in gasoline prices this year.
Gasoline and some heating costs are expected to be relatively low in 2009.
But some wildcatters pack up their drill bits as the exploration rush has cooled.