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.

In Tlingit land-rights loss, a Native American rights attorney lays out injustice and hope for the future

In a lecture at the Sealaska Heritage Institute, Walter Echo-Hawk laid out the factors leading to the Supreme Court’s 1955 Tee-Hit-Ton Tlingit land rights decision.

Increase in observer fees has people in the fishing industry questioning how their dollars are being spent

Observer fees are going up for Alaska fishermen and processors. In Kodiak, fishermen aren’t too worried about the modest increase, but some would like to see improvements made to the decades-old program.

Forest Service kicks off Roadless Rule discussion in Juneau

People who attended the meeting had a lot of questions about the process.

A new inventory of old growth trees could be coming. Will it be too late?

A proposed exemption from the federal Roadless Rule means prohibitions on logging could be removed for millions of acres of old growth trees in the region.

Lawyers spar over whether young Alaskans’ climate lawsuit can move forward

The case, Sinnok v. State of Alaska, is being brought by 16 young Alaskans arguing that current policy violates their right to "a stable climate system" under the state constitution.

There’s a new fight over Bering Sea black cod. Warming water may be to blame.

Small-boat fishermen who catch black cod are sounding alarms about increasing numbers of black cod that are being caught accidentally, as bycatch, by larger Seattle-based trawlers that fish in the Bering Sea.

Pebble opponents sue Trump administration over EPA reversal

They are challenging EPA’s decision this summer to throw out what some saw as a “preemptive veto” of the proposed copper and gold mine, claiming the agency did not properly justify the decision.

As BP exits Alaska, 1,600 employees are waiting to find out what’s next

BP has operated in Alaska for over half a century and has long had a hand in running the state’s biggest oilfield, Prudhoe Bay. The oil company’s plans to exit the state has left hundreds of workers like McFarland in limbo.

About 300 BP union employees will keep their jobs — for now

According to Hilcorp, about 300 BP union workers at Prudhoe Bay will remain in their jobs, at least through the end of their current contract.

8 key takeaways for Alaska in a major new United Nations report on climate change

The United Nations on Wednesday released a major new report on how climate change is affecting the world’s oceans and frozen areas, like glaciers, ice sheets and permafrost. It contains stark warnings on how rising emissions will affect the environments that blanket most of the earth's surface -- and much of Alaska.

Records show federal government, tasked with rewriting Tongass rules, also funded Alaska timber group

The State of Alaska was granted millions of dollars in federal funds to help facilitate dialogue about potential changes to the Roadless Rule. Some of that money went to timber industry groups — and environmentalists say that's not fair.

These Anchorage students skipped school to attend a climate protest. Here’s why, in their own words

Despite pouring rain, about 300 people of all ages gathered at a park in midtown Anchorage to take part in the global protest.
Caribou graze on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, with the Brooks Range as a backdrop. (USFWS)

Trump administration rolls out final environmental review for Arctic Refuge oil leasing

Caribou graze on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, with the Brooks Range as a backdrop. (USFWS)

A year after a dam was removed, this river near Anchorage is still waiting for water

The effort to remove the dam on the lower Eklutna River couldn’t succeed on its own because upstream, utilities divert the river into a hydroelectric power plant. Officials say it will take years before they decide whether to add more water that could help restore salmon.

Democratic presidential candidates spent seven hours talking climate change. Alaska wasn’t discussed.

In the first-ever prime-time presidential climate change forum, Democratics spent seven hours on the issue. But there was no substantive discussion of Alaska, even though the state is one of the most affected by global warming.

After leaving Trump administration, Balash will work for oil company that’s developing an Alaska project

Joe Balash, the high-level Alaskan appointee at the U.S. Department of the Interior who pushed to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil leasing, is taking a job with an oil company seeking to develop a major project in Alaska.

Here’s how a Kenai Peninsula wildfire could cause higher electric bills in Anchorage and Fairbanks

The wildfire damaged transmission lines that carry power from a major hydroelectric dam near Homer, officials said. And it could be months before the lines are fixed.

Wildfires and warming could transform Alaska’s forests, making leafy trees dominant over evergreens, study says

If wildfire frequency and temperature rise in Alaska like the paper’s authors expect, broadleaf trees like birch and aspen could become dominant, taking over from evergreens like spruce, which are better adapted to cold weather and scarce nutrients.

New technology could help save Anchorage homes from wildfires

The Anchorage Fire Department hopes a new, specialized camera will help them respond to wildfires faster.

Is the USDA now leaning toward a full exemption of the Roadless Rule in Alaska?

A national news story caused a stir this week, suggesting President Donald Trump has taken a special interest in how the Tongass will be managed.