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.

Proposed $12 billion natural gas terminal near Prince Rupert draws skepticism

A new company would like to build a $12 billion natural gas export terminal in Southeast Alaska waters near Prince Rupert, British Columbia. But some aren’t convinced the project will be viable.

Sea ice begins to recede as Northwest Alaska cold snap dies down

The cold snap helped the sea ice form in the Chukchi and Bering Seas, but the recent shift is slowing it down.

Massive sea bird die-off linked to food scarcity during “the blob,” new study says

When the last “Blob” hit the Pacific, an area of the ocean larger than Canada experienced surface ocean temperatures rise as much as 7 degrees, completely altering the marine ecosystem for more than two years. The result was havoc in the food chain.
pipeline

Alaska oil tax initiative has enough signatures for ballot, its supporters say

They plan to turn in the more than 43,000 signatures on Friday.

Federal judge rejects North Slope tribe’s challenge to Conoco drilling program

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason dismissed a legal challenge Thursday that a North Slope tribal government had brought against President Donald Trump's administration's approval of oil drilling and other industrial activity nearby.

RCA says it needs another month to consider Hilcorp’s confidentiality request

Hilcorp is planning to buy BP's entire Alaska business, and it wants its financial records kept private.

Donlin Gold receives more state permits, moving closer to operating mine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta

The permits will allow Donlin to build an airstrip and a port, and install fiber optic cables and build access roads for its mine, which could be one of the biggest in the world, if completed.

Opening the Arctic Refuge brought Alaska’s largest Native corporation $22.5 million from BP and Chevron

Arctic Slope Regional Corp. collected $22.5 million from a pair of oil companies after Congress opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain to drilling in 2017, according to corporate documents.

As Anchorage warms, wintertime is defined by ice as much as snow

For many in Anchorage, winter and its accompanying outdoor opportunities are something to relish rather than escape. But residents of the state’s largest city are being forced to renegotiate their relationship with winters.

Polar bear protections delayed oil exploration in the Arctic Refuge. A new study shows how companies can still move forward.

A new study says that by using infrared sensors to detect dens, and accepting strict limits on when to survey specific areas of the coastal plain, polar bear disturbance can be dramatically reduced – from as many as eight dens if no restrictions are abided by, to one or less using the most conservative approach.

Chinook salmon are getting smaller, and researchers say killer whales may be to blame

Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, are getting smaller, and a team of scientists at the University of Washington think they know why. A new study says killer whales might be behind Chinook’s declining size.
The BP Building in Anchorage.

Economists say the loss of BP jobs will be significant, but ‘not disastrous’ for Alaska’s economy

BP, which has been a major employer in Alaska for decades, is planning to sell all of its assets in the state to Hilcorp, a smaller, private company.

Alaska governor creates oversight committee for BP sale

“The purpose is to make sure the State of Alaska and its people are represented as this transaction moves forward,” said the governor’s office.

LISTEN: A Washington Post correspondent talks about reporting on climate change on Alaska’s North Slope

The Washington Post made the Alaska North Slope village of Nuiqsut front page news earlier this month, under a provocative headline: "Alaska's warming, but can't quit big oil." We talked with the reporter who wrote the story.

BP Alaska agrees to pay $125k fine over hazardous waste violations on North Slope

The EPA says the oil company didn’t maintain adequate insurance and failed to properly label hazardous materials.

How a legal fight in Maui could shape a mine project in Southeast Alaska

After hearing the Maui case in Washington DC in November, the Supreme Court is expected to decide how far the Clean Water Act goes next year.

Longstanding tensions underlie Arctic Slope Regional Corporation’s withdrawal from AFN

Long before Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announced its withdrawal from the Alaska Federation of Natives last week, there were signs of a schism.

About half of BP’s Alaska employees have accepted a job with Hilcorp

BP intends to sell its entire Alaska business to Hilcorp for $5.6 billion.

Activists take to social media as comment period for Roadless Rule draws to a close

As the final deadline for public comments on a proposal to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule loomed, environmental groups increasingly tried to get the word out to encourage people to weigh-in.

Donlin mine enjoyed years of support in Southwest Alaska, but as the project becomes more real, that’s changing

For the last two decades, mining companies have been working to develop the massive Donlin Gold prospect in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. And most of that time, the development has claimed support from neighboring communities. But that’s changing. Tribes, organizations, and communities have begun opposing the mine development and organizing.