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.

State responds to two oil spills at Drift River in Cook Inlet

State regulators are monitoring the cleanup of two small oil spills at a storage site on the west side of Cook Inlet. Listen now

How will climate science in Alaska fare under Trump? No one knows yet

Federal agencies and scientists both inside and outside government endured a roller coaster of a week as President Donald Trump’s new administration took the reins. Many worry that funding for science and environmental research could be on the chopping block under the new president, along with public communication about climate change. Listen now

State-ordered investigation following BP leak finds no additional problem wells

A state-ordered review of thousands of oil wells on the North Slope is complete, following a multi-day oil and gas at one of BP’s facilities last spring. Listen now

Hearing ends 26 years of litigation over Exxon Valdez oil spill

The state and federal governments have decided not to pursue a final $100-million from ExxonMobil over its 1989 oil spill in Prince William Sound. Download Audio

For methane researcher, golf course bubbles are a first

“It’s an area that I and some other colleagues have started thinking about: can you get methane forming in terrestrial environments? But it’s a very new area of science,” carbon scientist Katey Walter Anthony said. Listen now

In Russia, a competitor for Alaska’s gasline project comes online

The $27 billion Russian project is heavily funded by partners in China. When completed, it will be almost as large as the Alaska LNG project. Listen now

As Alaska’s climate team floats carbon pricing, not everyone jumps on board

Governor Bill Walker’s Climate Action Leadership Team met yesterday in Anchorage to discuss its draft climate action plan, which recommends Alaska consider a carbon tax. But the plan is not a consensus document, and not every member of the team thinks pricing carbon is a good idea. Listen now
Caribou graze on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, with snowcapped peaks of 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)

At crucial moment, Denali Commission faces leadership gap

The top job at the federal agency tasked with coordinating help for Alaska villages threatened by climate change will soon be vacant. Listen now

2018 second warmest year on record for Bethel

Climate changes are hitting home in many ways: the Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race had to make a last-minute route change, and the Kuskokwim River is taking longer to freeze, so more residents in remote Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta communities have to travel by air instead.

Murkowski backs bill to strengthen volcano monitoring

Senator Lisa Murkowski wants to bolster the nation’s volcano monitoring system. Listen now

In Kaktovik, sea ice loss means a boom in polar bear tourism

That’s when outsiders started showing up in Kaktovik: tourists, who wanted to see polar bears before they went extinct.

Newtok to Congress: thank you for saving our village

The $15 million in this year’s spending bill is just a fraction of what Newtok needs to fund its relocation. But village leaders say it’s crucial seed money that will make everything else possible. Listen now

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

For the sake of the herring egg harvest, Sitka Tribe calls for smaller fishery

A decades-old debate is gaining traction over the stability of Sitka’s herring population. Listen now

The lure of John McPhee’s “Coming into the Country,” 40 years later

“Coming into the Country,” John McPhee’s book about Alaska, was published in 1977, introducing readers across the country to a wild place, less than 20 years into its statehood. The book quickly became a best-seller and is still popular with tourists and Alaska residents alike. Listen now

The Cost of Cold: Staying warm in Nome

As the Bering Strait becomes more accessible, the mayor of Nome says there’s an upside to less sea ice. Listen now

Murkowski accepts climate change. What will she do about it?

Sen. Murkowski is a Republican who goes out of her way to talk about climate change and says we need to reduce emissions. But climate advocates say her deeds don’t match her words.

Nuclear power in Alaska? Experts say it’s not as far-fetched as you think.

Nuclear power has been explored in Alaska before, in the Interior village of Galena, and went nowhere. At an Anchorage conference this month, the Resource Development Council, an industry group, took another look.

A new inventory of old growth trees could be coming. Will it be too late?

A proposed exemption from the federal Roadless Rule means prohibitions on logging could be removed for millions of acres of old growth trees in the region.