Oil and Gas

Working around the clock to make sure the trans-Alaska Pipeline holds...

"The first week I went to work was the only week in two and a half years that I worked less than eighty hours a week. Many times we would work twenty-four hours a day." Listen now

Renewables

With rain in the forecast, Ketchikan switches back to hydroelectric power

The second half of October brought enough rain for Ketchikan’s electric utility to switch off its diesel generators.

Cordova hosts U.S. Senate field hearing on microgrids

Abraham Ellis is with the Sandia National Labs in New Mexico. “We are interested in those technologies to figure out ways to improve the energy resilience for cities,” he said. “For defense applications, and things like that, that really need to keep on going with electricity supply, even if the normal grid fails for whatever reason.”

Renewable Energy Fund, casualty of budget crunch, may get new lifeline

Since 2008, Alaska's Renewable Energy Fund has supported scores of projects around the state. But so far, it has not been included in this year's budget. Download Audio

Economy

Working around the clock to make sure the trans-Alaska Pipeline holds water

"The first week I went to work was the only week in two and a half years that I worked less than eighty hours a week. Many times we would work twenty-four hours a day." Listen now

The challenges of being the only woman on a pipeline crew

Diane Schenker had recently graduated from Reed College and was living in Fairbanks when she heard a rumor that Welding Union 798 had been forced to hire women to help build the trans-Alaska pipeline. A 21-year-old with no experience in construction, Schenker convinced the union office manager to let her work with an all-male crew of welders from the South. Listen now

Cordova hosts U.S. Senate field hearing on microgrids

Abraham Ellis is with the Sandia National Labs in New Mexico. “We are interested in those technologies to figure out ways to improve the energy resilience for cities,” he said. “For defense applications, and things like that, that really need to keep on going with electricity supply, even if the normal grid fails for whatever reason.”

Climate Change

Climate Change, Weather Variability Challenge Yukon Quest Personnel, Mushers

The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race starts Saturday. For more than 30 years, the race course has followed an old Gold Rush era trail that took advantage of the frozen Yukon River. But recently, there have been places where the river hasn’t frozen up. That’s starting to raise question about the impacts of climate change on Alaska’s state sport. Download Audio

More energy stories

Study claims Exxon Valdez oil spill didn’t cause Prince William Sound fisheries crash

The study says wild red salmon are affected more by adult hatchery-raised pink salmon that compete with reds or eat them when they're small. And the research also says herring declines are more related to increased fresh water from melting glaciers, rather than oil inundation after the spill.

Ask a Climatologist: In Alaska, wildfire season can go from mild to severe in an instant

Wildfire season is off to a slow start in Alaska. But that could change very quickly. That’s because predicting how severe a wildfire season will be in the state is so tricky. Alaska’s Energy Desk is checking in with climatologist Brian Brettschneider each week as part of the segment, Ask a Climatologist. Brettschneider says over the entire season, which runs through the end of July, no wildfire forecast is useful for Alaska.

Governor floats idea of head tax to end legislative stalemate

After an entire regular session and more than half a special session gone with no deal on a state budget, Governor Bill Walker met with legislative leaders today (Mon., June 5) to roll out a compromise package.

Caelus postpones appraisal well for big North Slope oil discovery

Caelus Energy, the company behind what could be Alaska's biggest oil discovery since the 1960s, will not be drilling a well to confirm the find this winter, as originally planned.

Why Alaska utilities can build now, ask for rate increases later

Alaska’s privately owned electric utilities can’t increase their rates overnight. They first have to go through a process with the state’s regulatory commission to demonstrate a need. That’s what Juneau’s utility — AEL&P — is at the beginning stages of doing. But customers get little say about projects already on the books. Listen Now

The man with the plan: Can Keith Meyer sell the gas line?

As the state of Alaska takes the lead in the effort to build a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope, it finds itself taking responsibility for what would be one of the largest, most complex projects in the world. The man in charge is Keith Meyer, the new president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp.
Bill Walker, fifth from left. As a Valdez City Council member, Walker traveled with a delegation from the Organization for the Management of Alaska Resources (later the Resource Development Council) to meet with California Gov. Jerry Brown to advocate for a gas line, 1977. (Photo courtesy of Bill and Donna Walker)

Man on a mission: Gov. Walker and the gas line

The announcement this summer that Alaska will pursue a state-owned natural gas pipeline is a major U-turn after more than a decade of negotiations with the big three North Slope oil companies.

LNG rail shipments to begin demonstrations

The Alaska Railroad will be the first to transport liquefied natural gas by rail in the United States. The Alaska Railroad Corporation was granted permission by the Federal Railroad Administration to move LNG last year and testing is slated to start next week. LISTEN NOW

Same but different: how Alaska and Norway are handling low oil prices

An oil-dependent economy straddling the Arctic Circle, battered by low prices but sitting on a massive savings account: that could describe Alaska -- but it also describes Norway. Download Audio

39 years in the making, Exxon hopes Point Thomson is down payment on a gas line

When it's fully online, it'll send about 10,000 barrels a day of diesel-like oil down the trans-Alaska pipeline. But Exxon sees the field as a down payment on a much bigger prize: a North Slope gas line. Download Audio