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.

Science and traditional knowledge converge in North Slope Borough’s bowhead whale program

Scientists have spent the past few decades catching up to traditional knowledge, documenting scientifically what whale hunters already knew. Like the fact that the whales can smell, and that they can travel under sea ice.

Miller Energy files for bankruptcy protection

An energy company primarily doing business in Alaska has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Credit rating agency sees a ‘clear path,’ as Alaska tries to balance its budget

In less than a year and a half, Alaska went from one of Moody's highest rated states, to one of its lowest. But now, that's changed. Listen now

Alaska wildfires linked to climate change

2015 was a headline grabbing year for extreme weather events. Massive floods, extreme drought and low snowpack were seen around the globe. In Alaska, wildfires scorched over 5 million acres of land. Now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is taking a closer look and trying to figure out what caused them. Listen Now

Judge blocks Trump administration move to undo Obama ban on Arctic oil leasing

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason, in an opinion released late Friday, said President Donald Trump exceeded his authority by issuing an executive order in 2017 that reopened large parts of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas to offshore oil leasing. Former President Barack Obama had protected those areas from development in his second term.

Alaska companies release private data for global seabed mapping project

The goal is to completely map the seafloor by the year 2030 and three Alaska companies are pitching in. Listen now

More Y-K Delta tribes protest Donlin Mine as permitting process progresses

Six tribes have passed resolutions against the proposed mine in the past two months; and eight have spoken out against it in the last two years. Listen now

Melting ice is disrupting daily life in the Y-K Delta in the worst possible way

This spring has seen record-breaking warm temperatures across Alaska. In the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, the Kuskokwim River is melting early — with devastating consequences.

State coffers won’t cover cost of cleanup if oil companies walk away

The agency that oversees oil and gas drilling in the state says it doesn’t collect nearly enough money to clean up wells in case companies walk away. Regulators say the recent influx of small, private companies means Alaska risks shouldering the cost of abandoned wells. State lawmakers are receptive to addressing the issue. Listen now

LNG rail shipments to begin demonstrations

The Alaska Railroad will be the first to transport liquefied natural gas by rail in the United States. The Alaska Railroad Corporation was granted permission by the Federal Railroad Administration to move LNG last year and testing is slated to start next week. LISTEN NOW

Energy audits, a possible solution to elevating Southeast electricity costs

In remote Southeast communities, electricity costs for local businesses can be through the roof. Businesses don’t qualify for power cost equalization -- a state program that subsidizes energy costs for private residents. But a small federal grant could help businesses identify some simple ways to save. Download Audio

Study: Tundra fires induce permafrost melt, land change

Wildfire on Arctic tundra can cause permafrost melt from the top down, contributing to landscape slumping, known as thermokarst. Download Audio

Barrick Gold takes Donlin mine development ‘very seriously’ during big merger

Barrick Gold also wants to build one of the world’s largest gold mines, the Donlin gold mine, in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. And this merger could have future implications for the project.

New York Times reporter discusses story revealing ANWR oil test well was ‘worthless’

This week, the New York Times published a story uncovering a long-held Alaska secret: it revealed that the only exploratory oil well ever drilled in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was "worthess." Alaska's Energy Desk reporter Elizabeth Harball talked to Henry Fountain, one of the New York Times reporters who broke the story.

Walker, House Dems aim to put climate policy back on the table

Climate change has always been a sticky issue for Alaska policymakers. In a state that sits on the front lines of global warming but remains deeply dependent on oil, it sometimes seems like the easiest option is just not talking about it at all. Listen now

As sea ice recedes, walruses gather near Point Lay earlier than ever

Several hundred Pacific walrus are hauled out on a barrier island near the village of Point Lay, on the Chukchi Sea coast. It's the earliest such haul out since the walrus first started showing up in 2007 -- and may be linked to this year's rapidly retreating Arctic sea ice. Listen now

Fight continues in Tongass over how to keep logging industry alive

The U.S. Forest Service wears a lot of hats. The agency oversees federal lands, repairs salmon streams and auctions off trees. In Alaska, timber sales are intended to stimulate the local economy, but industry groups say that through the years the forest service hasn’t made enough logs available to keep the industry alive. Now, with changes to federal regulations, even less old growth is slated for market. Listen Now

This halibut hook is an innovation for the past, present and future

Few people still use the hand-carved halibut hook. But there’s a push to make sure the tradition sticks around. Listen now

Alongside Trump in China, Alaska gets a new deal on its LNG

State will explore marketing, financing and investment with China for the $45 billion mega-project.

As it prepares to exit the state, BP donates nonprofit meeting space in Anchorage to community foundation

The Alaska Community Foundation says it will maintain the energy center as a free meeting space for at least the next 20 years.