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.

Meet the Trump administration official whose signature could formally open ANWR to drilling

On his second day on the job at the U.S. Department of Interior, Joe Balash says he was personally tasked with carrying out Congress’ instructions to hold an oil lease sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. "I am confident that we are able to move forward here and not devastate the Porcupine caribou herd. I am absolutely convinced of that,” Balash says.

As polar bears encroach on this Alaska village, feds charge whaling captain with illegally shooting one

As Arctic sea ice melts, polar bears are spending more time near the Alaska North Slope village of Kaktovik. Now, federal prosecutors have charging a whaling captain there with killing one in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Constituents use Wasilla special session to lobby Alaska lawmakers on Gov. Dunleavy’s budget vetoes

Monday’s special session in Wasilla wasn't just a meeting for Alaska’s Republican legislators. It also gave road system Alaskans a chance to offer their opinions about the huge dilemma facing lawmakers right now: whether to uphold Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy's major line-item budget vetoes.

In Arctic Village, Gwich’in leaders say the fight to stop drilling in the Arctic Refuge isn’t over

Until recently, Gwich'in tribes were on the winning side of battle over over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Then, in late 2017, Congress opened the coastal plain to oil development So Gwich'in tribes are now taking unprecedented steps to try to protect the caribou herd they depend on.

In the Alaska village where ANWR is the backyard, many see drilling as an opportunity

Many of the Alaska Native residents of Kaktovik, the one small village inside the refuge, see oil development as an opportunity -- though some remain deeply skeptical.

From permafrost to polar bears, draft report evaluates Alaska gasline’s environmental impact

The report concludes the $43 billion export project could have significant impacts on the environment — but would be a boost for state and local economies

Pebble CEO and opponent debate whether mine proposal is ‘the nose under the camel’s tent’

The CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership and a prominent Pebble opponent debated a key point of contention about the proposed mine: its size.

Planning for 2019 NPR-A oil lease sale begins as feds pursue opening more Arctic land to drilling

The Interior department is re-evaluating the management plan for the reserve, aiming to open up land that's currently off-limits to oil leasing.

As sea ice changes in a warming Arctic, new challenges for polar bear research

“There’s probably going to be a greater amount of uncertainty with some of the information that we’re able to provide, because it’s simply not going to be as precise as it used to be,” said wildlife biologist Todd Atwood.

In rural Alaska, school districts deal with a legacy of unaddressed contamination

Typically, when a contaminated site is discovered it’s up to the landowner — or the person responsible for making the mess — to clean it up. But there are dozens of sites where this process has broken down.

Village of Igiugig one step closer to replacing diesel electricity with hydrokinetic system

“One year from now, we’ll know whether the community would like to own this device,” says IVC President AlexAnna Salmon. “If it really is going to prove itself to be an effective option for providing power.”

ConocoPhillips picks up another oil prospect west of Prudhoe Bay

ConocoPhillips announced it intends to buy 21,000 acres from Caelus Natural Resources, which includes the Nuna oil discovery.

For Quinhagak, climate change means they may have to move

In Western Alaska, accelerating erosion is forcing several villages to consider moving. In Quinhagak, a village on the Bering Sea, erosion is threatening the sewer lagoon and the building that houses its washeteria and health clinic.

‘Pretty unbelievable,’ says Kotlik hunter who helped document recent spike in seal deaths

Harold Okitkun counted 18 dead seals north of Kotlik — a number he says he’s never seen or heard of other people in the village seeing.

Unusually high number of seal deaths reported along the coast of the Bering and Chukchi Seas

“We don’t know if it’s lack of sea ice, or if there was a harmful algal bloom,” said Julie Speegle with NOAA Fisheries. “There’s quite a range of factors.”

Goat yoga? In Fairbanks, there’s a new animal to flow with: reindeer

“You’ll see the reindeer getting into these amazing poses,” said Jane Atkinson, owner of Running Reindeer Ranch. “And it’s like wow…. Look at this little yoga move that they do!”

As the Alaska Legislature fights over the budget, a decades-old accounting quirk takes on new importance

At Alaska’s state Capitol this week, there’s a lot of talk about something called “the sweep.” What is it, and why is it such a big deal this year?

Could Arctic warming be behind gray whale deaths in Alaska, and elsewhere? Here’s why scientists are asking.

Scientists aren't calling climate change or declining sea ice the smoking gun yet. But they’ve seen enough other events that have come along with Arctic warming, like sea bird die-offs, that they’re asking questions.

Alaska schools now have more guidance on how to teach science in the classroom

The Alaska State Board of Education unanimously approved new science standards on Friday, which are more detailed about topics like climate change and evolution than standards previously recommended for schools.

Can the youth climate lawsuit go to trial? A federal appeals court will rule.

“The courts’ view of it is that the case is unusual enough and novel enough that it would be wise to resolve some of the legal uncertainty before trial rather than after,” said environmental law professor Sean Hecht.