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.

6 U.S. Senators and 1 U.S. Secretary head to Oscarville

Six U.S. senators and the U.S. Secretary of Energy traveled to Bethel Monday to hold a hearing on Alaska’s energy challenges and innovations. The team included the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, lead by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. But before the hearing, the group went on a field trip to see where those challenges and innovations intersect.

Gas line team reshuffle puts scrutiny on high salaries

As the state prepares to take a larger role in the Alaska LNG gas line project, its leadership team is once again in flux. The changes are bringing new attention to the salaries involved -- including one negotiator who has been paid about $120,000 a month since June. Download Audio

First Y-K Delta tribe marches against Donlin Gold in Bethel

The mine would be built in a region where many residents practice subsistence and would be one of the biggest gold mines in the world. Listen now
A side view of a polar bear in snow

New data on Chukchi Sea polar bears leads to subsistence harvest level increase

Native hunters in Alaska are about to see an increase in the number of polar bears they can harvest from the Chukchi Sea bear population. Listen now

As the Bering Sea warms, this skipper is chasing pollock to new places

“Across the board, everybody has a story about something that they haven’t seen before,” said Dan Martin, a 53-year-old captain of a Bering Sea pollock trawler. We took a fishing trip with Martin to find out what he’s experiencing as the Bering Sea heats up.

Squirmy sustainability: one man’s mission to fix a common problem

There’s nothing like taking a walk on Alaska’s pristine wilderness. Unless you step in something — unexpected along the way. For park goers, what dogs leave behind on the trail can be a sensitive topic. But one Juneau man has an unconventional solution he thinks could ease tensions and reduce waste, all at once. Listen Now

Will Alaska’s new governor keep Walker’s climate team?

Now, the real work to address climate change can start. But it’s hard to know what that might look like under new leadership. Listen now

The Alaska LNG project explained

Not sure what the Alaska LNG project is? Check out this explainer video.

Aboard Alaska’s endangered ferries, passengers fear a “giant step back in time”

Step onboard the MV LeConte, where a single trip last week showed how Southeast Alaska residents have knit the state's ferries into their lives – and how they would adapt if the ships stopped running, and Gov. Mike Dunleavy is proposing.

Why is gas so expensive in Alaska?

Alaska has the lowest fuel tax yet some of the highest gas prices. We asked Larry Persily, former federal coordinator for Alaska natural gas projects: Why is it so expensive to fill up the tank in Alaska?

How can the U.S. Forest Service keep up with Alaska’s tourism boom?

As tourism increases and federal budgets shrink, a permitting backlog at the U.S. Forest Service has been growing. Listen now

Ask the Energy Desk: What happens when our hydropower sources are frozen?

Parts of Interior Alaska, like Fairbanks, have been seeing record cold temperatures this winter. But in Southeast Alaska, the frigid conditions have had a direct impact on the way people power their homes. Listen now

BP Alaska reports $85 million profit for 2016; no more layoffs planned

In an annual report released on Thursday, BP’s Alaska subsidiary reported a profit of $85 million in 2016. That’s compared to a $172 million loss in Alaska in 2015. Listen now

Juneau charges ahead with electric vehicles

With its limited road system, Southeast doesn’t seem like a paradise for car lovers. But it might be the perfect spot for Travis McCain. Download Audio

Gustavus households offered safe drinking water after latest PFAS scare

It’s a growing national issue: A foam used to suppress oil fires can leach into the environment and contaminate groundwater. Listen now

Will Alaska endorse climate science education?

Alaska could be joining dozens of other states by adopting the framework of Next Generation Science Standards. On Friday, the State Board of Education unanimously approved a draft slated for public comment.
Shell's Noble Discoverer drill rig leaving Unalaska Monday afternoon. (Photo by John Ryan, KUCB - Unalaska)

Obama’s last chance to weigh in on Arctic drilling has industry worried, enviros hopeful

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s upset election victory, President Barack Obama still has two months left in office to close out policy decisions and try to cement any final pieces of his legacy. One open question is offshore oil and gas leasing. Listen Now

Hilcorp plans gravel island to extract Arctic offshore oil

Arctic offshore drilling by Royal Dutch Shell PLC drew protests on two continents this year, but a more modest proposal for extracting petroleum where polar bears roam has moved forward with much less attention.

Watchdog renews call for tougher training for Prince William Sound oil tanker escorts

Following two minor accidents, a citizens' watchdog group is asking the state's top environmental regulator to require tougher training for new oil spill response crews in Prince William Sound. Listen now

S&P warns further downgrades may be on horizon

Standard & Poor's downgraded Alaska's credit rating Tuesday after months of warnings to shore up the state budget. With plunging oil prices wreaking havoc on the state's budget, the agency knocked the state down a notch from the top AAA rating it has held for the last four years. Download Audio