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.

New analysis out on renewable energy costs in rural Alaska

"It shouldn't be used as a manual but it is a good place to start," lead researcher Erin Whitney said.
A man poses for a photograph in a white button-up shirt.

Why a Papua New Guinea company is taking over one of Alaska’s biggest oil fields

An oil project in the Arctic may seem like an odd leap for a company from an island nation in the South Pacific. But in a recent interview, the newly-minted president of Oil Search Alaska, Keiran Wulff, said the company is serious about its new venture. Listen now

Two Alaska projects selected for federal marine energy innovation grant funds

The grant money comes from the Department of Energy and is part of a larger award to support innovation in marine energy generation. Listen now

Shipping titan Maersk sends company’s first container ship to test trans-Arctic trade route

The world’s largest container shipping company is about to send its first cargo vessel across the Arctic. It’s a small step, but a significant one in the expansion of trade in Arctic waters as ice recedes due to climate change. Listen now

With salmon ballot measure’s defeat, Pebble celebrates

In an interview Wednesday, Pebble CEO Tom Collier said even though his company’s mine proposal wasn’t always at the forefront of the debate, the salmon habitat initiative was, in some ways, all about Pebble.

Revenue commissioner outlines a new direction for Alaska’s gas pipeline project

That direction looks a lot like a previous version of the project: one that was led by the oil companies on the North Slope.

Two veterans of Alaska politics land contract jobs with Gov. Dunleavy

Two veterans of Alaska politics have signed contracts to work with GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy, and one of them is maintaining ownership of her...

Candidate Dunleavy said he had no plans to cut ferries, schools, university. Then Gov. Dunleavy proposed deep reductions.

Dunleavy’s shifting positions on state spending and budget cuts have left critics fuming; they argue that the governor was able to make dubious claims on the campaign trail that were never debunked by a weakened mainstream media, and that that might have changed the election's outcome.

Remove your rings and get out your card blanket: A table-side view of one of Utqiaġvik’s most animated card games

In Utqiaġvik, snerts is one of the most popular games in town. Die-hard enthusiasts play on a regular basis, and there’s even an annual spring tournament.

Trump’s path to ‘energy dominance’ in Alaska has a key opponent: lawyers

Not long after Trump took office, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke famously proclaimed "the only path for energy dominance is a path through the great state of Alaska." Two and a half years into the administration, lawyers have proven to be significant impediments to that path.

Battered by a marine heatwave, Kodiak’s cod fishermen may not be fishing in the Gulf for much longer

They’re now below the federal threshold that protects cod as a food source for endangered Stellar sea lions. As soon as the population dips below that line, the fishery closes. The whole federal cod fishery in the Gulf could be shut down for the season in January.

State gives timber industry group $1.3M in federal money to work with U.S. Forest Service

Documents obtained by Earthjustice show a contract between the state Division of Forestry and the Alaska Forest Association worth up to $1.3 million, or $260,000 a year, for a span of five years.
Boats in a sweeping bend in a river

Dillingham urges governor to close Bristol Bay fishery

The City of Dillingham and the Curyung Tribal Council wrote a strongly worded letter to Governor Mike Dunleavy Monday urging him to consider closing Bristol Bay’s commercial fishery to protect the community from the coronavirus pandemic.

Developers of proposed Pebble Mine offer dividends to everyone in Bristol Bay, hotbed of mine opposition

Register now, the company says, and payments will begin with construction. "Shameless" says one leading opponent.
Caribou graze on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, with snowcapped peaks of the Brooks Range as a backdrop. (USFWS)

The Trump administration is moving to sell leases in ANWR, but will anyone show up for a sale?

Oil and gas companies aren’t talking publicly about whether they’d bid. But one industry analyst says she’d expect interest in a lease sale to be “lukewarm.”

Workers hopeful as Agrium takes steps to reopen its Kenai Peninsula plant

The Agrium natural gas-to-fertilizer plant in Nikiski has been taking steps to reopen. If it does, it could add hundreds of high-paying jobs to the struggling Kenai Peninsula economy. Listen Now

Ask a Climatologist: Should we be worried about methane hydrates on the sea floor?

What are methane hydrates and what role could they play in global warming? That’s the question a listener posed this week for the segment Ask a Climatologist. Listen now

Climate change roundtable puts Alaska contradictions on full display

Representatives from the oil and gas and mining industries joined environmentalists and local community leaders to spitball solutions. Listen now

International “range states” meet to discuss polar bear conservation

"The number one challenge is loss of polar bear habitat, meaning sea ice," says James Wilder, the polar bear program leader for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Listen now

At crucial moment, Denali Commission faces leadership gap

The top job at the federal agency tasked with coordinating help for Alaska villages threatened by climate change will soon be vacant. Listen now