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.

A mpuntain top covered in clouds

Cluster of Aleutian peaks could be single supervolcano, scientists say

If the researchers' suspicions are correct, the newfound volcanic caldera belongs to the same category of volcanoes as the Yellowstone Caldera and others that have had super-eruptions with profound global consequences.
Two peopl on a small skiff help untangle a whale

Residents rally to free entangled humpback near Tenakee Springs

Residents of Tenakee Springs were awoken in the middle of the night to a plaintive whale cry and quickly mobilized to save the trapped cetacean.
Reasearchers on some spotty sea ice

Once again, Arctic Report Card says abnormal the new normal

The 2020 Arctic Report Card is out, and results show life in the Arctic is heating up — faster. This year was the Arctic's second-warmest on record, affecting everything from plankton to people.
A snowy road over an icy river

Kivalina emergency access road now open for use

The new road allows villagers to access higher ground as global warming causes their village site to erode.
A woman in a white lab coat stands on a stairway

Largely insulated from COVID-19, Unalaska is watching its wastewater for signs of trouble

As part of its mitigation strategies, in July the island began testing its wastewater for traces of COVID-19, mirroring efforts by universities and municipalities across the country.
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.”
A white bald man in a suit speaks at a table

Former Gov. Walker leads effort to take over Alaska’s gas pipeline megaproject

For more than 40 years, the state has tried and failed to bring natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope to market. Now, a new private venture — formed by some familiar players — will make an attempt.
A forest floor

Alaskans react to Trump Administration’s Roadless Rule rollback in the Tongass

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Proponents of the change say that the industry is at risk of disappearing, while environmentalists and Indigenous tribes say that logging threatens the ecosystem.

Trump administration will eliminate roadless protections for Alaska’s Tongass forest

President Donald Trump’s administration announced Wednesday that it is finalizing its plans to reverse roadless protections for more than 9 million acres of the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska, or a little less than 15,000 square miles.
A pile of sawdust in a muddy parking lot

In a quest for cheaper energy, Kake turns to biomass heating

After looking through available renewable energy sources like solar and wind, the village of Kake turned to a resource that is readily available on the Southeast panhandle: wood.
Quonset huts in the middle of a sprucy wetlands

In the wake of Pebble Tapes, scrutiny for state involvement in wetlands mitigation plan

Pebble says it will meet the deadline for a plan to offset damages to wetlands in the Koktuli River watershed, but the "Pebble Tapes" have triggered additional scrutiny about the state’s apparent assistance with the plan.

With new letter, Alaska GOP Gov. Dunleavy stands alone in Pebble’s defense

Mike Dunleavy says he has a responsibility to pursue projects like Pebble -- if they can be safely built -- to help improve the plight of rural Alaska residents.
Sea urchins on a rock

Without otter predation, sea urchins are decimating Aleutian reefs

Orcas have started targeting sea otters, which normally keep urchin populations in check.
A white woman in a blue best poses next to a light blue boat with teh name "Axel"

In a down market, Alaska fishermen avert disaster by feeding families in need

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A seafood donation program started by a Sitka organization is helping bring some stability to fishermen and consumers during an uncertain time.

Trump administration reportedly overruled CDC’s recommendation to extend no-sail cruise ship order

The Centers for Disease Control pushed to extend an order barring large cruise ships from sailing from U.S. ports until February 2021 over coronavirus concerns.
screen shot of the cover slide for the tapes with an image of water and land from the air

In secret recordings, Pebble Mine execs say Donlin mine is too expensive to build

On September 21, an environmental group leaked footage of top mining executives discussing the proposed Donlin Gold mine. ( Environmental Investigation Agency) On Sept. 21, an...

Alaska’s pro-oil Republican governor is quietly pushing green energy projects too

Even as climate change threatens to impose steep costs in Alaska, Dunleavy is still promoting the state's oil industry. But he says he's excited by the plummeting cost of renewable power sources, and their potential to bring down electricity prices and recruit more business to the state.
A glacier seen from the air with large bowed striations coing out iniot ht ebay

Could the melting Malaspina Glacier create a new bay on Alaska’s southern coast?

What’s happening at the Malaspina Glacier may be the largest landscape transformation underway in the United States, according to researchers.