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.

After a rocky start, Unalaska’s subsistence salmon run hits target escapement

While Unalaska’s biggest subsistence salmon run got off to a slow start this season, it’s now at a sustainable level. Listen now

State fund for renewable power falls prey to budget woes

Since 2008, the state has set aside a pot of money for renewable energy projects like small dams and wind turbines. Called the Renewable Energy Fund, the projects it's backed have replaced tens of millions of gallons of expensive diesel in communities from Skagway to Nome. Listen now

Interior utility breaks ground on test solar farm

The solar array is a small-scale test and will be completed at the end of October.

Opponents pack Anchorage hearing on salmon habitat ballot measure

A ballot initiative aimed at protecting salmon habitat is facing stiff opposition from industry groups, unions and Native corporations in Alaska. That opposition was on full display at an Anchorage hearing on the measure this week. Listen now

Alaska’s only tribal college now offering bachelor’s degree in business

The college's President hopes the bachelor’s program will give local students the qualifications they need to fill positions that might otherwise go to applicants from elsewhere. Listen now

Valdez challenges RCA’s decision to keep Hilcorp finances confidential

The City of Valdez is taking a fight to have Hilcorp reveal its finances to state Superior Court in Anchorage.

Working around the clock to make sure the trans-Alaska Pipeline holds water

"The first week I went to work was the only week in two and a half years that I worked less than eighty hours a week. Many times we would work twenty-four hours a day." Listen now

Alaska House postpones vote on oil tax bill – again

For the second time in two days, House lawmakers have postponed a final vote on Gov. Bill Walker's controversial oil tax bill, a cornerstone of the governor's efforts to close the state's $4 billion budget deficit. Download Audio

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.

State agency opens review of Donlin Gold’s pipeline right-of-way

Despite an appeal by mine opponents, the state says it will move ahead with a review.

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.

New rules may help small energy projects sell to the grid

New rules could make it possible to develop more alternative energy in Alaska, by making it easier for independent projects to sell their power to the grid. Download Audio

In rural Alaska, looking inside the home to reduce energy costs

A batch of new energy assessors, who live in Southeast villages, are being trained to spot areas that could be more efficient. Listen now

In Sitka, a teacher wants her classroom to know who’s responsible for climate change

Some school districts don’t elaborate on the causes of climate change, while others make it clear: Humans are largely to blame. This week, we’re going inside two Alaska classrooms to learn how teachers and students are navigating these difficult conversations.

Beavers are moving into the Arctic — you can see it from space

"If they were moving out of the Arctic, then you’d see a lot of ponds draining... But that’s not what we saw, we saw a lot of new ponds forming." Listen now

Judge overrules state, says salmon initiative can go forward

A controversial ballot initiative intended to protect salmon habitat has cleared a major hurdle, setting up what could be an intense political fight. Listen now

Hilcorp announces project to bypass oil terminal by Redoubt volcano

An environmental group is praising oil and gas company Hilcorp after it announced a new pipeline project in Cook Inlet. Hilcorp said the project would eliminate the need to store oil at the Drift River Terminal. Listen now

Anchorage businesses grapple with sudden electricity bill increase

Many businesses in Anchorage aren't happy with the sudden increase in electric bills. Some are taking their case to state regulators, while others are trying more creative solutions to cut back on electricity costs. Listen now

Cordova hosts U.S. Senate field hearing on microgrids

Abraham Ellis is with the Sandia National Labs in New Mexico. “We are interested in those technologies to figure out ways to improve the energy resilience for cities,” he said. “For defense applications, and things like that, that really need to keep on going with electricity supply, even if the normal grid fails for whatever reason.”

Ask a Climatologist: Alaska’s “relentless” streak of warm temperatures

According to an announcement this week from the World Meteorological Organization, 2016 is on track to be the warmest year ever. If current trends continue, it would be the third straight year of record-breaking heat. Listen Now