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.

Unusually high number of seal deaths reported along the coast of the Bering and Chukchi Seas

“We don’t know if it’s lack of sea ice, or if there was a harmful algal bloom,” said Julie Speegle with NOAA Fisheries. “There’s quite a range of factors.”

From permafrost to polar bears, draft report evaluates Alaska gasline’s environmental impact

The report concludes the $43 billion export project could have significant impacts on the environment — but would be a boost for state and local economies

Pebble opponents sue Trump administration over EPA reversal

They are challenging EPA’s decision this summer to throw out what some saw as a “preemptive veto” of the proposed copper and gold mine, claiming the agency did not properly justify the decision.

Chinook salmon are getting smaller, and researchers say killer whales may be to blame

Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, are getting smaller, and a team of scientists at the University of Washington think they know why. A new study says killer whales might be behind Chinook’s declining size.

Shell oil rigs leave the Arctic, skip Seattle

Shell's two Arctic oil rigs pulled into Unalaska's Dutch Harbor on Sunday, some 1,100 miles south of the company's drilling site in the Chukchi Sea. Download Audio

Even before leading John McPhee down the Salmon River, Pat Pourchot landed dream job

John McPhee’s book Coming into the Country starts with a river trip: six men, nine days- floating nearly the entire length of the Salmon river in northwest Alaska. The 26 year old leading the trip was Pat Pourchot, a recent Alaska transplant who had the job of a lifetime with the Interior Department. Listen now

Changing climate pushes polar bears toward more dangerous interactions with humans

Human-polar bear interactions are part of life in Arctic communities, but as melting sea ice forces polar bears onto dry land, they are becoming more common and potentially more dangerous. This is the message of a recent scientific paper. Listen now

Support and concern as Ambler Road comment period draws to a close

It's a big road in a state with not that many of them. Proponents say it will enable growth of the mining industry, and create jobs. Detractors worry about impacts to subsistence. Listen now

‘How much, how fast?’ Alaska researchers ask of melting Antarctic glacier

"The report that triggered this proposal call originally had a title that I think was quite catching. It asked 'how much, how fast?' " researcher Martin Truffer said. "And that’s really the question here." Listen now

Hundreds of dying seabirds found in Bering and Chukchi seas

Since May, hundreds of dead and dying seabirds have been found across the northern Bering and southern Chukchi Seas. Listen now

Sen. Murkowski talks aviation, climate change in Bethel visit

Climate change and rural aviation are major issues in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski addressed both during her visit to the region last week.

Polar bear encounter reported in Arctic Village, many miles south of normal range

Polar bear researcher Eric Regehr says that in individual cases like this, it’s very difficult to attribute cause to why a bear wandered so far from its typical area.

ASRC, after backing Dunleavy’s campaign, blasts his oil tax redistribution plan

ASRC president and CEO Rex Rock Sr. said: “Trying to balance a state budget on the backs of the Iñupiat people across the Arctic Slope is a wrongsided attack on our region.”

Caring for Alaska’s seniors during tense budget talks

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget proposes eliminating more than a third of the state’s funding for Medicaid. To achieve that, some hospitals and nursing homes could be paid less to provide skilled labor.

Trump administration appeals ruling that blocked Arctic offshore drilling

The Trump administration Tuesday appealed a federal court decision that blocked plans to re-open vast portions of Alaska's Arctic waters to oil drilling.

State raises concerns about Red Dog Mine spill cleanups

Following a truck rollover earlier this summer, emails show state regulators raised concerns about how the Red Dog Mine near Kotzebue is cleaning up after spills on the sensitive tundra.
The ConocoPhillips building in downtown Anchorage.

For sale: A stake in an array of ConocoPhillips’ Alaska projects

On the block are old, new and unbuilt projects: the Kuparuk River Unit, which is Alaska’s second-largest oil-field; the newer Alpine unit to the west; and the undeveloped Willow prospect in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

State approves pipeline lease for Donlin Gold, another step toward building the mine in Southwest Alaska

The state of Alaska approved a right-of-way lease for Donlin Gold’s proposed 315-mile gas pipeline on Jan. 17. The lease is an important step forward in the company’s quest to build the Donlin Gold Mine, which could be one of the largest in the world if completed.

St. George takes steps to protect their marine environment

An island in the Pribilof’s is taking steps to protect the marine environment in their backyard. St. George's city council passed a resolution earlier this month that could establish a National Marine Sanctuary. Listen now

Ask the Energy Desk: What happens when our hydropower sources are frozen?

Parts of Interior Alaska, like Fairbanks, have been seeing record cold temperatures this winter. But in Southeast Alaska, the frigid conditions have had a direct impact on the way people power their homes. Listen now