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.

The Bering Sea Bairdi (or Tanner) crab fishery stayed closed this year, for the first time in four years. State biologists decided there were too few crab to safely harvest. But fishermen are questioning that decision. They say there were plentiful Bairdi when they were fishing for other species. Listen now

For most of the state the weather forecast has been pretty simple for the entire month of March: cold and clear. But how unusual is that? Listen now

The state is fining oil and gas company Hilcorp an additional $160,000 for using nitrogen without permission while working on two wells in 2015 — the same practice that nearly killed three North Slope workers. Listen now

Amid a wave of new oil discoveries in Alaska, other companies are hoping to get lucky, too. And in pursuit of the next billion-barrel find, two companies from Texas and Australia are trying something a little different. Listen now

Italian energy company Eni this month submitted an exploration plan to drill for oil in federal waters in the Beaufort Sea. Listen now

Federal regulators are raising concerns about a second pipeline in Cook Inlet. Listen now

The state of Alaska is receiving over $8 million in settlement money after a top car company cheated on its federal emissions tests. Listen now

In February of last year, Governor Walker signed an administrative order to help jumpstart mariculture, or sea farming, in the state. One Juneau couple is whipping up a recipe to make local kelp an enticing business and snack. They’re part of a growing number of startups that see Alaska seaweed as a marketable food. Listen now

State regulators have given preliminary approval to Hilcorp’s plan to monitor the environmental impacts of the gas leak in Cook Inlet. Listen now

In an effort to figure out what’s behind the mysterious decline of Steller sea lions, scientists are trying out crowdsourcing for the first time. The project is called Steller Watch. The idea is to convince the public to comb through pictures looking for sea lions. Listen now

March has brought sun to much of the state. But not a lot of warm temperatures. That weather combination prompted a listener to email to ask why some ice and snow is disappearing, even though it’s well below freezing outside. Listen now

Rural Alaska runs on diesel. Although many communities are open to alternative energy ideas, they don’t have the funding to even explore them. But help could come in the form of graduate students from Harvard University, who have been tasked with the assignment of solving some of Alaska’s fossil fuel energy woes. Listen now

Two Anchorage Democrats have introduced a bill to create a statewide commission on climate change. But even its authors doubt the bill has much of a chance, at least this session. Still, they argue it’s a step in the right direction. Listen now

An ongoing natural gas leak in Cook Inlet is sparking a debate over pipeline safety. Hilcorp, the responsible company, said it can’t shut off the flow of gas through the pipeline without risking an oil spill. But a number of environmental groups disagree. Listen now

Parts of Interior Alaska, like Fairbanks, have been seeing record cold temperatures this winter. But in Southeast Alaska, the frigid conditions have had a direct impact on the way people power their homes. Listen now

A natural gas pipeline in Alaska has been leaking methane into the atmosphere since at least early February. Dr. Katey Walter Anthony from the University of Alaska Fairbanks helps to put the size of that leak into perspective.

State regulators are asking the operator of the trans-Alaska pipeline and oil shippers to offer more proof that new tugboats being built for Prince William Sound are up to the job of preventing major oil spills. Listen now

The companies behind an already significant oil find on Alaska’s North Slope on Thursday said they’ve confirmed the biggest onshore discovery in the U.S. in three decades. Listen now

Two House Republicans want to cut funding for the state’s gas line corporation. During a House Finance committee meeting, Rep. Tammie Wilson proposed cutting more than $10 million from the state’s operating budget, earmarked for the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation. Listen now

Most of the time, a seal in Unalaska doesn’t attract too much attention, but a ringed seal is a different story. The marine mammals live near ice and typically are found further north. When a sick ringed seal appeared and then vanished last week, the community united to find it. Listen now