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.

To get a count on bowhead whales, North Slope scientists head out onto the sea ice

“They’re just so graceful and beautiful. Every time I see a whale I get excited,” said biologist Craig George. “I’ve seen thousands and thousands. It’s always like seeing a bowhead for the first time.”

Gov. Walker announces new climate change task force

The 15-person "Climate Action for Alaska Leadership Team" will be chaired by Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, and will propose a climate change action plan. Those recommendations are due by September 2018. Listen now

A week after the Anchorage earthquake, city continues to find damaged homes

Anchorage is still coming to grips with the extent of the damage on buildings and homes following the 7.0 earthquake that struck the region on Nov. 30.

Q&A: ConocoPhillips Alaska president discusses his prediction for a ‘North Slope Renaissance’

In a presentation to an Anchorage business group on Monday, Marushack said Conoco’s projects are part of a new wave of oil production in Alaska, something he called a “North Slope Renaissance.”

Donlin gold mine needs to move a mountain. How close is that to happening?

There isn’t much at the proposed mine site right now: just a long airstrip, with clusters of sturdy buildings in the middle of green mountains close to the Middle Kuskokwim River. But if completed, the Donlin gold mine would be one of the biggest in the world. Listen now

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.

The Palmer Project, a mining prospect outside Haines, could transform into a large-scale operation

While there’s no mine here yet, a small cadre of scientists live here for half the year, looking for minerals.

TransCanada official expresses support for gas project

An official with TransCanada Corp. says the Canadian pipeline company strongly believes in the Alaska liquefied natural gas project it's currently a partner in. But Vincent Lee told the House Finance Committee the company supports Gov. Bill Walker's recommendation that the state buy out TransCanada's interest. He called it a mutual dissolution.

Group launches campaign to keep Arctic in oil lease plan

Alaska and national business and labor groups launched a media campaign Monday to keep Arctic areas in the next five-year federal offshore leasing plan. Twenty groups organized as the Arctic Coalition are urging the Obama administration to retain a Beaufort Sea lease sale in 2020 and a Chukchi Sea lease sale in 2022.

As Trump administration removes federal roadblocks, Pebble Mine fight shifts to state

Now that the Trump administration has removed a major roadblock, Alaskans can expect a lot more action at the state level. Listen now

Study: Carbon emissions from northern fires likely underestimated

A recent study indicates fires in the Yukon Flat region of Alaska are releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than previously thought. Download Audio

David Cornberg has the last word in “Coming into the Country”

The last person John McPhee talks to in his book Coming into the Country is a man who calls himself River Wind. At the time, River Wind was 32 years old, about to head down the Yukon in a 15 foot aluminum canoe to find a place to live. Forty years later, he goes by his given name, David Cornberg and spends most of the year in Fairbanks. Listen now

Pebble CEO and opponent debate whether mine proposal is ‘the nose under the camel’s tent’

The CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership and a prominent Pebble opponent debated a key point of contention about the proposed mine: its size.

Donlin Gold to begin drilling program

It’s going to be a busy year for Donlin Gold. The company is gearing up for another round of geotechnical drilling, its first in two years.

State wants to stop billing homeowners for tech support after spills

On average, getting technical support from employees in the state’s Division of Spill Prevention and Response can cost between $100-$150 an hour. Listen now

Oil company deal postpones North Slope drilling

Two oil companies say they are shifting their ownership split on an oil field development project in Alaska and will delay work planned for this winter.

Feds approve $1.7M to buy out homes in Newtok

A state official said the grant program is crucial because the erosion in Newtok and other Alaska villages does not qualify for traditional disaster relief. Listen now

To buyout, or not to buyout? The Legislature debates

The Legislature is meeting in Juneau this week for a special session on the Alaska LNG project -- that’s the proposal to build a giant natural gas pipeline from the North Slope. The big question before lawmakers this session is whether the state should take a larger stake in the project, by buying out one of its partners. Download Audio

What happens when an oil producer moves into the neighborhood?

Public information about oil and gas exploration on private land comes with a lot of what ifs. Oil and gas wells themselves are permitted internally at the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and the location of wells is only made public after they are approved.

Murkowski mostly neutral on Dunleavy budget, but urges full education funding

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is keeping mostly neutral on Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget cuts. She spoke about his budget on a visit to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta this past weekend.