Rachel Waldholz, Alaska's Energy Desk - Anchorage

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska's Energy Desk - Anchorage
Rachel Waldholz covers energy and the environment for Alaska's Energy Desk, a collaboration between Alaska Public Media, KTOO in Juneau and KUCB in Unalaska. Before coming to Anchorage, she spent two years reporting for Raven Radio in Sitka. Rachel studied documentary production at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and her short film, A Confused War won several awards. Her work has appeared on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Marketplace, among other outlets. rwaldholz (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8432 | About Rachel

Study asks why species bounced back – or didn’t – after Exxon Valdez

When the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound in 1989, the immediate effects were pretty obvious. Researchers estimate that hundreds of thousands of sea birds and thousands of sea otters died within months, among other impacts. Listen now

Mulling the possibility of a “managed retreat” from climate change

By the end of the century, researchers predict climate change could displace millions of people across the country, as rising sea levels and erosion hit coastal communities. As policymakers start to grapple with that reality, there’s a specific phrase making the rounds: “managed retreat.” In other words, relocating whole neighborhoods or communities and retreating from the coast. Listen now

BP working to contain well on North Slope

BP is working to contain an out-of-control production well at the Prudhoe Bay oil field on the North Slope. The well is currently venting natural gas and has released at least some crude oil into the environment. Listen now

Hilcorp completes repairs on Cook Inlet gas line leak

A natural gas leak in Cook Inlet has finally been repaired, more than three months after it began. Listen now

Repairs begin on Hilcorp’s leaking Cook Inlet gas line

Dive teams are finally working to repair Hilcorp’s leaking natural gas pipeline in Cook Inlet. Listen now

Climate change hits Alaska’s rural water and sewer systems

For decades, Alaska has struggled to get running water and sewer systems to its rural communities. An estimated 3,000 households — or about 10,000 people — still lack both. Now, that job may be getting harder, as climate change exacerbates old problems and creates new ones. Listen now

Beyond believers and deniers: for Americans, climate change is complicated

On Tuesday (March 28), President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at rolling back many of the Obama administration’s efforts to curb climate change. The order comes as surveys show Americans remain divided over global warming’s causes and consequences. Listen now

Feds worry oil pipeline near leaking Cook Inlet gas line also at risk

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

Climate bill faces tough sledding in Alaska legislature

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

State concerned about tanker escort design for Prince William Sound

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

Murkowski says Trump policies on Arctic, climate still unclear

Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said it’s still unclear what the Trump administration’s Arctic or climate policies will look like. Listen now

Start-up gambles time is right for Alaska solar power

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

Report pinpoints concerns over new oil tanker escorts for Prince William Sound

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

Trump transition limits EPA participation in Alaska environmental conference

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

Walker, House Dems aim to put climate policy back on the table

Climate change has always been a sticky issue for Alaska policymakers. In a state that sits on the front lines of global warming but remains deeply dependent on oil, it sometimes seems like the easiest option is just not talking about it at all. Listen now

Obama denies Newtok’s request for disaster declaration

President Barack Obama has turned down a request from the western Alaska village of Newtok for a disaster declaration. Listen now

Newtok asks: Can the U.S. deal with slow-motion climate disasters?

The village of Newtok has requested a federal disaster declaration from President Barack Obama to address ongoing erosion and thawing permafrost. It’s one of the first tests of whether the nation’s disaster relief laws can be used to deal with the slow-moving impacts of climate change. Listen now

Feds release plan to stem decline of Cook Inlet belugas

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released its final plan to increase the population of Cook Inlet’s beluga whales and get them off the endangered species list. Listen now

The feds are finally paying to move a village, but it’s not in Alaska

Alaska villages facing rapid erosion have been trying to move for decades. But they’ve always run up against one major problem: money. Then this year, for the first time, the federal government made tens of millions of dollars available to relocate a small Native village threatened by climate change. The problem is that village is in Louisiana, not Alaska. Listen Now

Obama brought attention to threatened Arctic villages, but little funding so far

It’s been more than a year since President Barack Obama visited Alaska and became the first sitting president to travel above the Arctic Circle. The trip was designed to draw attention to climate change in the lead up to last year’s international conference in Paris. And the president went out of his way to highlight Alaska villages threatened by rapid erosion. But as Obama prepares to leave office, most of those villages find themselves no closer to a solution. Listen Now