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.

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.

Internal email casts uncertainty on future of BP Alaska employees

In the email, sent after the deal was made public, BP Alaska President Janet Weiss told employees they have three options, including applying for jobs with BP outside Alaska or leaving the company with a severance package.

BP and Hilcorp just announced Alaska’s biggest oil industry deal in years. Here’s why it matters.

If you don't work for an oil company, you might be wondering: Why should I care? And why does this matter? We asked and answered some of the big questions.

BP’s Alaska exit no surprise, say experts and industry insiders

BP's exit from Alaska was rumored long before it was officially announced on Tuesday. But that's not the only reason the company's $5.6 billion deal with Hilcorp is far from surprising, experts and industry insiders said.

BP moves to exit Alaska, relinquishing role as operator of Prudhoe Bay

One of Alaska's "Big Three" oil companies is stepping away from its major role in the state. BP is leaving its position as the company that oversees Prudhoe Bay.

ConocoPhillips’ next big oil project in Alaska takes another step forward

The company hopes to construct a new oil processing facility, up to five drill sites, about 40 miles of permanent roads, a gravel mine and hundreds of miles of pipelines and seasonal ice roads.

At the moment, Donlin Gold isn’t building a mine. But it is building a church

The company that wants to build one of the world’s biggest gold mines is currently renovating a church in Chuathbaluk in the middle Kuskokwim River. Donlin says that investing in communities near the mine is being “a good neighbor.”

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.

Wildfires crimp Alaska’s major transportation corridor, halting tourist operations, delaying groceries

Major wildfires that flared up in Southcentral Alaska over the weekend caused road closures and delays on some of the region's busiest road corridors, forcing re-routes and long delays for locals, buses filled with tourists and trucks trying to re-supply grocery stores.

Quinhagak opposes Donlin Gold mine

There haven’t been any public protests against the proposed Donlin Gold mine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta since last summer. But one tribe broke the silence with a resolution opposing the mine this month.

State raises concerns about Red Dog Mine spill cleanups

Following a truck rollover earlier this summer, emails show state regulators raised concerns about how the Red Dog Mine near Kotzebue is cleaning up after spills on the sensitive tundra.