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.

North Slope village tribal government sues over ConocoPhillips’ drilling plans

Along with five environmental groups, the Native Village of Nuiqsut is challenging the Bureau of Land Management's approval of ConocoPhillips' exploratory drilling plans this winter in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

As Capitol reporters dwindle, Alaska lawmakers grapple with rise of political blogs

The newest member of the Alaska Capitol press corps isn't your average reporter -- he once made the news for posing for photos in a Speedo. But he's one of a growing number of political bloggers who are trying to fill in gaps left by Alaska's shrinking mainstream media.

Alaska schools now have more guidance on how to teach science in the classroom

The Alaska State Board of Education unanimously approved new science standards on Friday, which are more detailed about topics like climate change and evolution than standards previously recommended for schools.

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.

Our reporter is trying to learn more about Hilcorp. Here’s how you can help.

Alaska's Energy Desk reporter Nat Herz is exploring Hilcorp's company culture as it's set to become one of the biggest players in Alaska's oil industry. He's written an open letter to Hilcorp employees asking for their help.
The BP Building in Anchorage.

Economists say the loss of BP jobs will be significant, but ‘not disastrous’ for Alaska’s economy

BP, which has been a major employer in Alaska for decades, is planning to sell all of its assets in the state to Hilcorp, a smaller, private company.

State fines Hilcorp $20K, cites pattern of violations

Hilcorp Alaska is facing a $20,000 penalty from the state for unsafe use of equipment on the North Slope. It's the latest in a string of violations for Hilcorp, which a state agency says has developed a pattern of regulatory noncompliance.

A SE Alaska village thinks reneweable hydropower should be implemented

A multimillion dollar dam in Kake would make it easier to bring renewable energy to the village, which currently runs off diesel. But the definition of “renewable” isn’t the same in everyone’s book. Federal grants for hydro projects can be limited — compared to what’s available for wind and solar. Listen now

“Doesn’t he know it’s frozen?” How Alaska almost overlooked Prudhoe Bay

You could argue — and a lot of people do — that Alaska would be a completely different place if it weren’t for a man named Tom Marshall.

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.

After pushback, public comment period on Pebble Mine extended

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will take public comment on its initial scoping for an environmental permit through June. Listen now

Endangered Species Act overhaul could put Alaska’s polar bears in crosshairs

The Trump administration announced revisions to the Endangered Species Act to make it easier for developers to navigate the law. Environmental groups criticized the proposal. Listen now

Arctic sea ice minimum continues downward trend, with implications beyond the Arctic

"The Arctic’s like an air conditioner or refrigerator for the global climate...And as the Arctic warms, partly because the sea ice is going away, it’s like you’re opening that refrigerator door." Listen now

Anchorage earthquake put new mapping tool to the test

The Nov. 30 Anchorage earthquake was one of the first big tests of a new computer model aimed at quickly estimating how significant landslides and other ground failures will be following an earthquake.

Could there be seismic in the Arctic Refuge this winter after all?

During the final public meeting in Alaska on oil leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a top Interior official said there could be some seismic exploration there this winter, after all.

Groups say they will sue unless EPA renews effort to restrict oil spill dispersants

The plaintiffs say the federal Environmental Protection Agency is shirking its duty to update its rules so they reflect the latest science on how dispersants affect the environment.

Bob Penney spent more than $300,000 to get Gov. Dunleavy elected. Then his grandson got an $8,000-a-month no-bid contract.

Clark Penney's company, Penney Capital, was hired to help a Dunleavy administration initiative to bring new businesses to Alaska and expand existing ones. Officials justified the no-bid contract by citing its urgency and Penney's experience working with wealthy investors.

In the Alaska village where ANWR is the backyard, many see drilling as an opportunity

Many of the Alaska Native residents of Kaktovik, the one small village inside the refuge, see oil development as an opportunity -- though some remain deeply skeptical.

As BP exits Alaska, 1,600 employees are waiting to find out what’s next

BP has operated in Alaska for over half a century and has long had a hand in running the state’s biggest oilfield, Prudhoe Bay. The oil company’s plans to exit the state has left hundreds of workers like McFarland in limbo.

An Anchorage attorney made a fortune fighting Big Oil in Alaska court. Now he’s funding the campaign to raise their taxes.

Frustrated by the industry-supported overhaul of oil taxes in 2013 and the unsuccessful campaign to repeal it, Robin Brena is chairing the citizens initiative to raise taxes. And he’s also the effort’s top funder, contributing more than $100,000 so far.