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.

As Anchorage warms, wintertime is defined by ice as much as snow

For many in Anchorage, winter and its accompanying outdoor opportunities are something to relish rather than escape. But residents of the state’s largest city are being forced to renegotiate their relationship with winters.

Polar bear protections delayed oil exploration in the Arctic Refuge. A new study shows how companies can still move forward.

A new study says that by using infrared sensors to detect dens, and accepting strict limits on when to survey specific areas of the coastal plain, polar bear disturbance can be dramatically reduced – from as many as eight dens if no restrictions are abided by, to one or less using the most conservative approach.

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.
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.

Alaska governor creates oversight committee for BP sale

“The purpose is to make sure the State of Alaska and its people are represented as this transaction moves forward,” said the governor’s office.

LISTEN: A Washington Post correspondent talks about reporting on climate change on Alaska’s North Slope

The Washington Post made the Alaska North Slope village of Nuiqsut front page news earlier this month, under a provocative headline: "Alaska's warming, but can't quit big oil." We talked with the reporter who wrote the story.

BP Alaska agrees to pay $125k fine over hazardous waste violations on North Slope

The EPA says the oil company didn’t maintain adequate insurance and failed to properly label hazardous materials.

How a legal fight in Maui could shape a mine project in Southeast Alaska

After hearing the Maui case in Washington DC in November, the Supreme Court is expected to decide how far the Clean Water Act goes next year.

Longstanding tensions underlie Arctic Slope Regional Corporation’s withdrawal from AFN

Long before Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announced its withdrawal from the Alaska Federation of Natives last week, there were signs of a schism.

About half of BP’s Alaska employees have accepted a job with Hilcorp

BP intends to sell its entire Alaska business to Hilcorp for $5.6 billion.

Activists take to social media as comment period for Roadless Rule draws to a close

As the final deadline for public comments on a proposal to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule loomed, environmental groups increasingly tried to get the word out to encourage people to weigh-in.

Donlin mine enjoyed years of support in Southwest Alaska, but as the project becomes more real, that’s changing

For the last two decades, mining companies have been working to develop the massive Donlin Gold prospect in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. And most of that time, the development has claimed support from neighboring communities. But that’s changing. Tribes, organizations, and communities have begun opposing the mine development and organizing.

Lawmakers quiz state regulators on $5.6B Hilcorp, BP deal

House and Senate Resources committee members asked about everything from layoffs to whether Hilcorp has the financial resources to manage the assets it wants to take over.

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.

There are plenty of herring to catch in Bristol Bay, but there’s nowhere to sell them

Herring fishermen, who come to Togiak from all over the state, still target herring for their tiny eggs, which once commanded steep prices in Japan. But not any more.

Alaska utility regulators ask Hilcorp, BP for more details on $5.6B deal

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska is asking the companies for five new sets of documents. They include the purchase and sale agreement, charts detailing the companies' corporate ownership and operating structure, and additional financial statements.

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.

Pebble’s owner reports growing deficit and doubts about its future. Again.

A spokesman says Pebble remains confident. The parent company says it's lost $40 million so far this year, and has a deficit over $400 million.

Unalaska is researching whether it can use wind power

V3 Energy consultant Doug Vaught anchors a MET tower on Unalaska's Hog Island, with help from environmental planner Kate Arduser. The...

Heavy rains prompt flooding concerns for Ketchikan less than a month after drought ends

A month of near-constant downpours has finally lifted the Ketchikan area out of drought — but getting all that rain at once presents an entirely new set of problems.