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.

Groups say they will sue unless EPA renews effort to restrict oil spill dispersants

The plaintiffs say the federal Environmental Protection Agency is shirking its duty to update its rules so they reflect the latest science on how dispersants affect the environment.

Dunleavy appointee to lead state environmental agency hits back at critics

Jason Brune's appointment is controversial because he worked as the public affairs and government relations manager for mining company Anglo American when it backed the proposed Pebble Mine.

Alaska lawmakers learn about a subsistence superfood

The state’s food safety codes currently don’t allow seal oil in public facilities like nursing homes. But a movement is underway to serve the beloved food to Elders.

Virginia GOP group helps boost conservative Anchorage school board candidates

An independent political group with money from a national Republican organization is running radio ads boosting conservative candidates in Anchorage’s local school board races.

The Alaska Roadless Rule decision is moving along. Some tribal governments say it’s moving too fast.

The Organized Village of Kake says the timeline has felt rushed for a decision that could have a major impact on rural Southeast Alaska.

Cash-strapped state of Alaska takes aim at North Slope government’s oil money

A proposal by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy would strip the North Slope Borough of its power to collect nearly $400 million in property taxes from oil companies each year. The idea gets at a longstanding question: How much money from oil should stay in the North Slope, where it’s pumped from the ground?

For decades, the government stood between the Unangan people and the seals they subsist on. Now, that’s changing.

The tribal government of St. Paul island, in the Bering Sea, has pushed the federal government for years to relax strict subsistence rules that have blocked access to seals and forced residents to buy expensive groceries. New rules could take effect soon, but they face opposition amid a decline in the seal population.

State says BP must prove more Prudhoe Bay wells aren’t at risk of ‘catastrophic failure’

In a recent order, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, a state oil and gas watchdog agency, said BP "has no evidence that permafrost subsidence will not result in sudden catastrophic failure" at other Prudhoe Bay wells.

Regulators: Top Dunleavy administration official can’t conceal consulting firm’s clients

Staff at the Alaska Public Offices Commission this week said Mary Ann Pruitt, Dunleavy's contract communications director, is required to disclose the clients of PS Strategies, an advertising and political consulting firm she owns.

Prospect of commercial fishing in central Arctic Ocean poses big questions for science

The first legally-binding, multilateral agreement to prevent commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean was signed last year. A key part of that agreement is collaboration on scientific research, which could underpin a management plan later.

Winter storms flood houses in Nunapitchuk and Kotlik

Storms battered the southern Bering Sea and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta last month. February storms aren’t unusual, but the amount of rain and flooding is. The combination caused a lot of damage for two communities in the region.

North Slope village tribal government sues over ConocoPhillips’ drilling plans

Along with five environmental groups, the Native Village of Nuiqsut is challenging the Bureau of Land Management's approval of ConocoPhillips' exploratory drilling plans this winter in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
pipeline

Alaska’s oil production future could be bright, but it’s also unpredictable

Oil from new fields could boost the state’s production, but predicting when they’ll come online — and how much money the state will bring in — is tricky.

As Dunleavy’s budget looms, two Alaskans see diverging futures for Mat-Su

Alaskans on both sides of the budget debate weigh in on the proposal to dramatically cut state spending to pay full Permanent Fund dividends.

Dunleavy fires head of state oil and gas watchdog agency

In a letter sent Tuesday, the governor informed Hollis French he is "immediately" being removed from his position as chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

NovaGold stakes company future on Donlin Gold mine after major asset sale

NovaGold is staking a lot on the success of the proposed Donlin Gold mine after selling a big asset last year: the Galore Creek project in British Columbia.

Alaska GOP Gov. Dunleavy disbands state climate response team

Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has formally disbanded the task force formed by his predecessor to guide the state's response to global warming.

Two veterans of Alaska politics land contract jobs with Gov. Dunleavy

Two veterans of Alaska politics have signed contracts to work with GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy, and one of them is maintaining ownership of her...

Can Bethel afford the costs of climate change?

Alaska's temperatures are warming twice as fast as the global average, and rural Alaska is taking the brunt of the impacts. The costs from dealing with climate change are starting to become more visible in Bethel, a hub town for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

In Anchorage, emotionally preparing students for the scary prospect of climate change

“One of the reasons why I suspect other teachers might not want to jump into this, besides it being a political hot topic, is it’s heavy and it’s a real downer,” says science educator Bryan Smith.