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.

Why is gas so expensive in Alaska?

Alaska has the lowest fuel tax yet some of the highest gas prices. We asked Larry Persily, former federal coordinator for Alaska natural gas projects: Why is it so expensive to fill up the tank in Alaska?

State responds to two oil spills at Drift River in Cook Inlet

State regulators are monitoring the cleanup of two small oil spills at a storage site on the west side of Cook Inlet. Listen now

Unlikely allies: U.S. and Russia work together on walrus

A new federal database, created with over a century of information, shows where Pacific walruses haul out on both sides of the border. And that’s especially important as sea ice disappears and the animals spend more time on land. Listen now

Alaska Ocean Acidification Network seeks to inform public of ocean acidity

Climate change may get all the attention, but it has a less-talked-about but no less troubling twin: ocean acidification. And a growing chorus of Alaskans, from shellfish growers to fishermen, are fretting about the potential impacts to the state’s waters. Now a new collaboration is aiming to bring ocean acidification into the spotlight - with the hope that better understanding it will better prepare the state to adapt. Listen now

New atlas maps Alaska’s surface

Federal and state researchers teamed up to make it easier for everyone to find out what's in the dirt in Alaska. For the first time in nearly 40 years, Alaska has an updated atlas of the chemical composition of its earth, rocks and minerals. Listen now

Why a Bahamas tanker is carrying North Slope crude

A foreign-owned tanker is expected to transport North Slope crude to Asia in the coming weeks. BP has shipped its oil overseas before, but it’s been decades since it was on a tanker built and managed outside the U.S. Listen now

Warm ocean water leads to heavy rain in Alaska

It's been unusually wet across a large section of the state this summer. Listen now
Sens. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, and Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla, linger after the Senate adjourned sine die, July 18, 2016. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Moody’s downgrades Alaska credit rating; fourth downgrade this year

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded Alaska's credit rating for the second time in six months, citing the state's massive budget deficit and its failure to find a long-term political solution. It's the fourth time since January the state has been downgraded by one of the three major ratings agencies. Listen now

Video: How the landfill in Anchorage harvests gas from trash

Hundreds of landfills across the lower-48 have turned their decomposing trash piles into a source of energy. So far, there’s only one project in Alaska harnessing the power of trash to produce gas. Listen now

Tesoro settlement resolves alleged Clean Air Act violations

As part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice, the Tesoro refinery in Nikiski will spend millions of dollars to reduce emissions that are potentially harmful to public health and the environment.

Lawmakers press on North Slope marketing request

At a Senate Resource Committee meeting on Tuesday, lawmakers pressed state officials eabout why the administration is trying to obtain gas marketing information from North Slope oil and gas producers. Gov. Bill Walker has yet to sign off on the oil companies’ 2016 development plan for Prudhoe Bay.

North Slope records fall with ‘unprecedented warmth’

Climate change is a daily reality in Alaska. Those changes are happening across forests, tundra, in the Arctic ocean and in your backyard. Listen now

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

Juneau utility installs $22 million diesel turbine

Juneau’s privately owned electric utility, AEL&P, has already broken ground to build an industrial diesel plant to meet growing demand. And for the city’s residents that means the price for electricity is likely to go up. Before the development goes any further, some community members are asking the state’s regulatory commission to take a closer look. Listen now

EPA fines BP, Hilcorp for spills on the North Slope

BP Exploration Alaska and Hilcorp Alaska have agreed to pay fines after spilling oil and waste on the North Slope. Listen now

Oil on exhibit: What Alaska’s past says about its future

The State Library, Archives and Museum opened recently in Juneau with a new display that includes a piece of the trans-Alaska pipeline as part of an exhibit on the oil industry. But the drama of the state’s current fiscal crisis puts that history in a new light. Listen now

Video: How chilly seawater keeps an aquarium warm

The Alaska Sealife Center has managed to reduce its carbon footprint and cut its annual utility bills in half. The secret: In 2008, the aquarium used state and federal grants to install a seawater heat pump system.

Low gas prices slow Alaska inflation growth

As oil prices have dropped and the state has struggled to pay its bills, Alaskans saw one benefit. The cost of living in Anchorage increased by the smallest amount in nearly three decades. Low gas prices had a powerful effect on inflation in the state. Listen now

VIDEO: A recent college grad lands a job but worries about the future

The last decade saw a remarkable run-up in oil and gas employment as high oil prices led to record numbers of energy industry jobs in Alaska. That meant young people had an easier time getting started in oil and gas. Hannah Vuppula was lucky enough to land an engineering job last year at an Anchorage firm that works on the Trans Alaska Pipeline.

VIDEO: Tom Walsh is confident things will turn around in Alaska’s oil industry

Alaska has lost more than 2,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry since last year, as the state faces its first real recession in nearly three decades. Tom Walsh is a founding partner of Petrotechnical Resources Alaska, an oil and gas consulting firm.