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.

Calls for Hilcorp to shut down leaking Cook Inlet gas line get louder

An ongoing natural gas leak in Cook Inlet is sparking a debate over pipeline safety. Hilcorp, the responsible company, said it can’t shut off the flow of gas through the pipeline without risking an oil spill. But a number of environmental groups disagree. 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

Video: Is the Cook Inlet gas leak contributing to global warming?

A natural gas pipeline in Alaska has been leaking methane into the atmosphere since at least early February. Dr. Katey Walter Anthony from the University of Alaska Fairbanks helps to put the size of that leak into perspective.

State concerned about tanker escort design for Prince William Sound

State regulators are asking the operator of the trans-Alaska pipeline and oil shippers to offer more proof that new tugboats being built for Prince William Sound are up to the job of preventing major oil spills. Listen now

Companies trumpet 1.2 billion-barrel oil discovery on North Slope

The companies behind an already significant oil find on Alaska’s North Slope on Thursday said they’ve confirmed the biggest onshore discovery in the U.S. in three decades. Listen now

Short-lived proposition to cut funds for Alaska’s gasline corporation dies in committee

Two House Republicans want to cut funding for the state’s gas line corporation. During a House Finance committee meeting, Rep. Tammie Wilson proposed cutting more than $10 million from the state’s operating budget, earmarked for the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation. Listen now

Stranded seal gets first-class rescue in Unalaska

Most of the time, a seal in Unalaska doesn’t attract too much attention, but a ringed seal is a different story. The marine mammals live near ice and typically are found further north. When a sick ringed seal appeared and then vanished last week, the community united to find it. Listen now

What does it take to prove a big oil discovery?

There’s a lot of excitement building about three big oil discoveries on Alaska’s North Slope. Caelus Energy, Armstrong Oil and Gas and ConocoPhillips all recently announced they’ve found huge new oil fields. But what does it take to prove an oil discovery? Listen now

Lawmakers look to the north as Juneau prepares for Arctic Council meeting

On a cold, sunny day in Juneau, about 40 people gathered in the Capitol to eat lunch and learn about the Arctic. Juneau will host an Arctic Council meeting later this week, and state lawmakers got a visit from national and international scientists, policymakers and researchers on Tuesday. Listen now

Ask a Climatologist: Record cold at Iditarod start won’t last

It’s hard to talk about the Iditarod without mentioning weather and climate. And this year is no exception, with mushers and dogs enduring extreme cold in first part of the race. Climatologist Brian Brettschneider looks into how this year’s cold and snow stacks up to weather records from past races. He says the start Monday in Fairbanks was -19, by far the coldest in Iditarod history.Listen now

From fear to fervor, how this millennial is making the outdoors more inclusive

When you open a REI catalog or page through Outside magazine, what do you see? Do the people on the page look like you? Arctic Youth Ambassador Reth Duir is working to make that imagery more representative. Listen now

Alaska Sea Grant program “hopeful but not confident” funding won’t be cut

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) received a surprise on Friday: The Trump administration is proposing deep cuts to the organization, which focuses on fisheries and climate science. As reported in the Washington Post, NOAA’s could lose 26 percent of its overall budget. The Sea Grant program, with more than a dozen projects in Alaska, could be hit particularly hard. Listen now

Murkowski wants Alaskans approval for future national monuments

Alaska has five national monuments — public lands that are given special protections, and Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski doesn’t want anymore of the state added to that list. Listen now

State reduces Hilcorp fine for worker safety incident

The state is fining oil and gas company Hilcorp $200,000 for a 2015 incident that nearly killed three workers on the North Slope. The final order amount, which was released today (Mar. 3), is a significant reduction from the $720,000 penalty the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission proposed last year. Listen now

Scientists propose plan to help refreeze melting Arctic

The Arctic could see its first ice-free summer as soon as 2030 as the region continues to warm faster than the rest of the planet. Some scientists think we’ve reached a point of no return, where no amount of reducing carbon emissions will save the Arctic, and a small group of scientists think it’s time for an intervention to help Mother Nature out. Listen now

Ask a Climatologist: Models hint at El Niño resurgence

The weather phenomenon El Niño may be on its way back. That’s after a weak La Niña system faded out a few months ago. Climatologist Brian Brettschneider said computer models are hinting at El Niño returning in the second half of this year. Listen now

Juneau’s electric utility says natural gas not in the plans anymore

Juneau’s privately-owned electric utility won’t be bringing natural gas to the capital city anytime soon. Alaska Electric Light & Power is owned by the Washington-based company Avista, which had shown interest in shipping liquefied natural gas from British Columbia to Juneau. Listen now

State demands Hilcorp monitor environmental impact of Cook Inlet gas leak

The state is asking oil and gas company Hilcorp to dramatically step up environmental monitoring near a natural gas leak in Cook Inlet. Listen now

Industry pushes back against proposed changes to state’s oil tax system

As lawmakers in Juneau consider changes to the state’s oil tax credit system, they’re facing stiff opposition from oil companies. Listen now

Ice in Cook Inlet likely to delay fix to Hilcorp gas leak for weeks

Hilcorp recently informed state regulators that the company is unlikely to begin repairs on a gas leak in Cook Inlet until mid- to late March. Listen now