Alaska's Energy Desk

Alaska's Energy Desk is a team of six reporters covering energy and environment in Alaska. We produce in-depth enterprise reporting for radio, video and web. The team is a collaboration between Alaska Public Media in Anchorage, KTOO in Juneau and KUCB in Unalaska and supported with a grant from CPB.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump pledged to increase the nation’s infrastructure spending. After Trump was elected, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker sent the new president an infrastructure wishlist from the state. At the top of that list is the state-led $45 billion gasline project. Listen now

Alaska’s solar industry lags far behind many other states. But with prices dropping dramatically around the world, some entrepreneurs see a new opportunity. Listen now

Bans on plastic grocery bags have been cropping up across Alaska’s remote communities. Cordova’s ban went into effect last year. But so far, the larger cities in the state have yet to adopt one.

This week, we’re responding to a listener who asked whether it’s true that sea ice in Antarctic waters has been generally increasing, while Arctic sea ice has seen dramatic declines. Listen now

Every winter, a massive infrastructure project takes place on the North Slope — one that’s designed to disappear. Ice roads are built to minimize the oil industry’s footprint on the sensitive tundra, and melt away in spring. Many of the oil industry’s multi-million dollar projects on the North Slope can’t be built until the ice roads are finished each year. Listen now

A watchdog group is raising questions about whether new tugboats planned for Prince William Sound are up to the job of escorting oil tankers through the region. Listen now

Hilcorp's leaking gas pipeline in Cook Inlet is drawing concern from environmental groups and state and federal agencies. Listen now

A state House lawmaker has released another bill proposing changes to the state’s oil and gas tax credit regime. Anchorage Democrat Les Gara debuted his bill, called the “Fair Share for Alaska’s Oil Act,” on Wednesday (Feb. 15). Listen now

The Ketchikan airport has one. So does the Walter Sobeloff Building in downtown Juneau. Now, a fringe group of homeowners are installing wood pellet boilers to heat their homes. Not to be confused with wood burning stoves, these boilers have been marketed as a cheaper alternative to heating oil, at least in the long run. But is the framework there to make the technology go mainstream? Listen now

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), which is charged with taking the lead on the massive Alaska liquid natural gas project, is again having its finances questioned. On Tuesday (Feb. 14), members of the Senate Finance committee pressed the corporation’s president Keith Meyer for detailed information about his budget. Listen now

A state agency on Tuesday (Feb. 14) announced it is fining an oil and gas company that operates in Cook Inlet for major safety violations. Listen now

Senator Lisa Murkowski wants to bolster the nation’s volcano monitoring system. Listen now

Nearly every year since Kasatochi erupted, scientists have returned to study how ecosystems respond to cataclysmic destruction. Listen now

Over the past 25 years, Alaska’s Legislature has passed nearly a dozen resolutions asking Congress to allow drilling in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But this year, something is different. There’s been more push back and public testimony opposed to passing an Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) resolution. Listen now

A local environmental group is calling on regulators to shut down a leaking gas line in Cook Inlet until it is repaired. Listen now

Trump transition officials ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit its participation in an Alaska environmental conference this week. Listen now

The agency that oversees oil and gas drilling in the state says it doesn’t collect nearly enough money to clean up wells in case companies walk away. Regulators say the recent influx of small, private companies means Alaska risks shouldering the cost of abandoned wells. State lawmakers are receptive to addressing the issue. Listen now

Last session, the fight over oil tax credits was one of the biggest questions lawmakers sought to answer.  And while they did manage to pass a bill, it focused on Cook Inlet. Now, many lawmakers are saying it’s time to look at the North Slope. Listen now

Is Alaska on the honor roll for its energy grid and water systems? According to the American Society of Civil Engineers the answer is “no.” The professional organization graded Alaska’s infrastructure for the first time, releasing the report card on Tuesday. And while the state didn’t ace anything, it could always be worse. Listen now

The state gets the bulk of its royalties from oil produced on the North Slope in the form of oil rather than in payments from the producers. This week, lawmakers are considering a contract to sell some of that royalty oil to the Alaska-owned refinery and fuel marketing company Petro Star. Listen now