Anne Hillman, APRN - Anchorage
ahillman (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Anne
The state of Alaska is looking for partners to research a new source of natural gas called methane hydrates. It could bring in new revenue for the state far down the road, but some environmentalists worry the risk of releasing that much methane is too great.
Ahtna Incorporated is planning to develop natural gas wells near Glennallen in order to supply local communities. They recently licensed 44,000 acres of state land about 15 miles west of Glenallen. They would be the first organization to go beyond exploration all the way to production.
As energy bills are rising for most people across the state, the Alaska SeaLife Center’s are actually dropping. That’s because they’re using the cold waters of Resurrection Bay to heat their building.
ConocoPhillips announced Wednesday that they are adding another new drill rig to the Kuparak oil field on the North Slope. This is the second rig they’ve added this year since the new oil tax bill was signed into law. The drill rig they installed in May is producing 1,600 barrels of oil per day.
The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has revised their proposed hydraulic fracking regulations again. Some of the new rules aimed to give the public more information about the chemicals used in the controversial oil and gas extraction method. However in the latest version, companies are allowed to withhold some information from the public in order to protect their trade secrets.
The state is currently putting money toward five different large-scale projects aimed at reducing energy costs on the Railbelt. Some, like subsidizing Cook Inlet gas production, impact energy costs now and in the near term. Other projects, like the proposed LNG pipeline wouldn’t affect prices for at least a decade. The question is—should the state be supporting all of the projects?
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is the 800-mile long backbone of the state’s energy infrastructure. It’s built to transport up to 2 million barrels of oil per day, but these days it carries only about a quarter of that.
As Alaska’s natural gas prices continue to rise, the Alaska Energy Authority is working on a large-scale project aimed at steadying Railbelt energy costs and moving away from a reliance on fossil fuels. But critics say the potential environmental impacts of the proposed Susitna-Watana Dam could cost the lifestyles and livelihoods of Alaskans who rely on the river.
Soon after Alaska became a state, nearly 50 years ago, Exxon Mobil began buying leases at Pt. Thomson on the eastern side of the North Slope. Now, after a seven year legal battle with the state, they are starting to develop the area.
The CEO of Great Bear Petroleum says their new 3-D seismic data confirms a promising new oil resource in the shale rocks just south of Prudhoe Bay. Ed Duncan said they received the data late last month and are still examining it, but “every source rock that we predicted to be present, is present.”
More areas of the Chukchi Sea may open up for oil and gas exploration in 2016, but the decision has not been made yet. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is calling for comments on a proposed lease sale in the area. But this time they are doing things differently.
It may become easier for independent energy producers to provide power to the grid. The Regulatory Commission of Alaska has agreed to review out-of-date statutes that some say are holding up renewable energy projects.
Many rural Alaskan communities are trying to revive their cultures and languages. But some mental health experts say that in order to revitalize their communities and their families, they first have to acknowledge and heal from the pains of the past. APRN’s Anne Hillman learned about historical trauma as part of an on-going series looking at Culture in Alaska.
Some people crave ice cream or fresh vegetables or pasta. Others prefer dried fish or caribou. As part of our series exploring culture in rural and urban Alaska, APRN’s Anne Hillman found out how strong links between food and culture are common throughout the state.
The spring whaling season is underway on Alaska’s North Slope. The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission reports St Lawrence Island whaling crews are having success with four bowheads landed by Savoonga hunters and two for Gambell. Whalers on the mainland coast are ready and waiting.
Frank Matumeak was born in Barrow in 1948. His mother was required to move there to attend the Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. Though his family had to conform somewhat to the American education system, he said his childhood was still ruled by the seasons. As part of our series looking at culture in Alaska, APRN’s Anne Hillman spoke with Matumeak about what life was like when he was growing up.
According to the Pilot Station Traditional Council, in 2011, community members spent more than $764,000 on Bingo, pull-tabs and raffle tickets. After paying out prizes and buy supplies, the tribe has $57,000 left for the community support fund.
Modern technology, like snow machines, boats, and cell phones have changed how Alaskans gather their food – both in urban and rural areas.