Alaska's Energy Desk

Alaska’s Energy Desk is a collaboration between KTOO-FM in Juneau, Alaska Public Media in Anchorage, KUCB in Unalaska, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Fairbanks, KBRW in Utqiaġvik and KYUK in Bethel. Each week we produce in-depth coverage of energy issues in Alaska for radio, video and web. From the state budget to personal energy use, resource development to Arctic life, we cover how energy issues impact Alaskan lives and landscapes. Alaska’s Energy Desk is a Regional Journalism Collaboration, launched in 2016 with a supporting grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

As gray whales die along the West Coast, Alaska scientists look for answers beneath blubber

Researchers are trying to determine the cause of a gray whale die-off along the West Coast, including Alaska. And they're looking at whether recent warming trends in the Arctic, and reduced sea ice, has affected their prey.

Major planned North Slope oil project gets key federal permit

Papua New Guinea-based Oil Search today announced it received a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers for its Pikka development, planned west of Prudhoe Bay.

State agencies at odds over new law to address ‘orphan’ oil wells

This month, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission started requiring oil and gas companies to put up substantially higher bonds to cover the wells they have drilled. But a different state agency -- the Department of Natural Resources -- is criticizing the new law and asking for it to be rescinded.

Two of Alaska’s biggest exports are caught up in the US-China trade dispute

As President Donald Trump’s trade dispute with China continues to drag out, some of Alaska’s biggest exports expect to be hit with even steeper tariffs than they’ve seen in recent months.

In Utqiaġvik, learning about climate change includes studying your backyard

In Alaska’s northernmost town, eighth grade students study climate change in a way that encompasses the global picture, but pays particular attention to what’s going on in their own backyard.

Ketchikan planes in mid-air crash both had equipment designed to help avert collisions. What went wrong?

How the planes' GPS transponders were or weren't working is a question investigators will explore, they said Wednesday.

Alaska lawmakers are trying to fight crime by toughening prison sentences. Not everyone agrees that will work.

People who work with released prisoners say the best way to combat crime is enhancing access to programs that target mental health problems and drug addiction -- not increasing prison terms.

Bob Penney spent more than $300,000 to get Gov. Dunleavy elected. Then his grandson got an $8,000-a-month no-bid contract.

Clark Penney's company, Penney Capital, was hired to help a Dunleavy administration initiative to bring new businesses to Alaska and expand existing ones. Officials justified the no-bid contract by citing its urgency and Penney's experience working with wealthy investors.

In Utqiaġvik, temperatures are warmer, and the ice is changing. What does that mean for whalers?

“I think it was a little more stable, and there was a little bit more assurance that the ice you were on was not going to disintegrate on you that easy,” said whaling captain Gordon Brower.

How a small, Arctic village found itself in the middle of Alaska’s new oil boom

Alaska is on the verge of a new oil boom -- and the village of Nuiqsut is right in the middle. Now the village faces tough choices. How do you maintain a way of life when the oil industry is knocking on your door?

Big parts of Gov. Dunleavy’s agenda remain unfinished. But he still has time, tools at his disposal.

With the legislative session winding down, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has gotten traction with some of his ideas, but many others have stalled. The governor's office is still holding out for more, but his allies say Dunleavy can still declare victory without passage of specific bills or initiatives.

Donlin Gold looks to schools, workforce development for future employees

Donlin Gold promised to hire local workers for its proposed gold mine. To fulfill that promise, the company knows that it has to start now and it has to start young.

As the Lower 48 continues to dry out, Alaska could get wetter

This past winter, parts of Southeast Alaska experienced severe drought. But a new study published in the journal Nature suggests that’s probably not a preview of what’s to come in Alaska.

New legislation introduced in Congress aims to strengthen Roadless Rule

Under the proposed Roadless Area Conservation Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture wouldn’t have the authority to grant an Alaska-specific exemption to the Roadless Rule.

Dunleavy administration pick for $94,000-a-year labor relations manager comes without labor relations experience

Jared Goecker started as the state’s labor relations manager last month – a job that includes helping to supervise negotiation of union contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. His boss said she interviewed several candidates for the job and that Goecker was the best fit.

An international airplane feud could crimp one of Alaska’s most lucrative fisheries

A new twist in a decade-long trade war over airplanes could crimp one of Alaska's most lucrative fisheries: The European Union is threatening new import taxes on Alaska pollock.

Murkowski asks for longer Pebble comment period

The current 90-day public comment period ends on May 30. The senator wants the Army Corps of Engineers to give the public an additional 30 days to weigh in.

As Capitol reporters dwindle, Alaska lawmakers grapple with rise of political blogs

The newest member of the Alaska Capitol press corps isn't your average reporter -- he once made the news for posing for photos in a Speedo. But he's one of a growing number of political bloggers who are trying to fill in gaps left by Alaska's shrinking mainstream media.

As his crime bills languish, Gov. Dunleavy renews the idea of a special session

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, at a news conference Monday, again suggested he could order Alaska lawmakers into a special session unless they start advancing his batch of criminal justice bills.

The special ingredient inside these new gluten-free noodles? Fish, from Alaska.

The featured ingredient in the new gluten-free “protein noodles” stocked at Costco might surprise you: It’s pollock, the unassuming whitefish caught by the millions in the Bering Sea, off Alaska’s coast.