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.

Papua New Guinea company to take over big North Slope oil play

Denver-based Armstrong Energy is selling off a significant chunk of its stake in the Nanushuk oil play to Oil Search, a company based in Papua New Guinea. Oil Search announced Wednesday that it will take over as operator next June. Listen now

Amid environmental grief, finding hope in a graveyard of yellow cedar

One ecologist wonders, for the yellow cedar forests and the people who care about them, what comes after climate change and environmental loss in Southeast Alaska?

Could a Trump presidency impact Alaska resource development?

Now that Donald Trump is set to take over the White House, big changes could be coming for Alaska's oil and gas industry. But even though Trump will see Alaska through a very different lens than Obama, a 180-degree policy shift isn't likely to happen soon.

Obama brought attention to threatened Arctic villages, but little funding so far

It’s been more than a year since President Barack Obama visited Alaska and became the first sitting president to travel above the Arctic Circle. The trip was designed to draw attention to climate change in the lead up to last year’s international conference in Paris. And the president went out of his way to highlight Alaska villages threatened by rapid erosion. But as Obama prepares to leave office, most of those villages find themselves no closer to a solution. Listen Now

Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sales set for June

The federal government this week announced it’s holding an oil and gas lease sale for over a million acres in Cook Inlet this June. Listen now

St. Paul’s fur seal pups at lowest level in 100 years

Northern fur seal pup production on St. Paul Island has hit its lowest level since 1915. Listen now

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.

Can home wood pellet boilers go from fringe to mainstream?

The Ketchikan airport has one. So does the Walter Sobeloff Building in downtown Juneau. Now, a fringe group of homeowners are installing wood pellet boilers to heat their homes. Not to be confused with wood burning stoves, these boilers have been marketed as a cheaper alternative to heating oil, at least in the long run. But is the framework there to make the technology go mainstream? 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

Hilcorp reports another leak in Cook Inlet; this time it’s oil

The dominant oil and gas producer in Cook Inlet has shut down production at two of its platforms after discovering an oil spill.

Ask a Climatologist: We know it’s bad in the Arctic, what about the Antarctic?

This week, we’re responding to a listener who asked whether it’s true that sea ice in Antarctic waters has been generally increasing, while Arctic sea ice has seen dramatic declines. Listen now

Alaska holding out against emission-cutting policies

The Arctic is on the front lines of climate change. Alaska is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet. A group called Alaska Common Ground hosted an all-day forum in Anchorage over the weekend to answer the question, "What are we doing about it?" Download Audio

Obama denies Newtok’s request for disaster declaration

President Barack Obama has turned down a request from the western Alaska village of Newtok for a disaster declaration. Listen now

Ask a Climatologist: The connection between sea ice and global weather

In the past, climate models have struggled to connect ocean conditions with what happens in the atmosphere. But two new studies do a much better job describing that link. Listen now

State calls a truce in Prudhoe Bay dispute

Gov. Bill Walker’s administration has called a truce in its dispute with the big three North Slope oil producers over plans for Prudhoe Bay.

The coronavirus pandemic is devastating Alaska’s budget, and it could cost you your PFD

The Legislature approved a budget last weekend that’s predicted to drain 70 percent of the cash left in the state's primary savings account. And things will be even worse without a substantial increase in the price of oil.

Climate change hits Alaska’s rural water and sewer systems

For decades, Alaska has struggled to get running water and sewer systems to its rural communities. An estimated 3,000 households — or about 10,000 people — still lack both. Now, that job may be getting harder, as climate change exacerbates old problems and creates new ones. Listen now

From the ashes: Life returns to Kasatochi volcano

Nearly every year since Kasatochi erupted, scientists have returned to study how ecosystems respond to cataclysmic destruction. Listen now

Juneau utility installs $22 million diesel turbine

Juneau’s privately owned electric utility, AEL&P, has already broken ground to build an industrial diesel plant to meet growing demand. And for the city’s residents that means the price for electricity is likely to go up. Before the development goes any further, some community members are asking the state’s regulatory commission to take a closer look. Listen now

Red Dog Mine, in hunt for more ore, proposes new road

One of Alaska’s largest mines is moving toward a significant expansion, applying for state and federal permits to build a 10-mile road to a pair of new prospects in a remote part of Northwest Alaska. Listen now