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.

Ask a Climatologist: Is that ice fog or freezing fog?

Anchorage residents have been waking up to fog most days recently. But do the cold temperatures that go along with it make it technically “ice fog"? Listen Now

Lawmakers call for audit of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation

The state corporation charged with taking over the massive Alaska LNG project is going to have its finances scrutinized. The legislators who called for the investigation say they want to know what the corporation has done with the $600 million given to it by the state over the last several years. Listen Now

Oil and gas companies snap up North Slope leases on state and federal lands

State and federal oil and gas lease sales held Dec. 14 in Anchorage saw an unexpected surge of interest in the North Slope. Listen Now

From rotten ice to wildfires: hunting and fishing becomes complicated in a changing Alaska

Alaskans have heard stories for years about how climate change is affecting subsistence hunting and fishing. Now researchers are trying to quantify that impact– and they’re finding the biggest problem is access. Listen Now

Guitar maker opts for more sustainable Sitka spruce

A little piece of Alaska has helped create some of the music industry’s biggest hits. Sitka spruce is a prized “tonewood” used to make guitars and violins. But one guitar company is pushing back and asking the feds and music insiders to reconsider clear cut logging in the Tongass National Forest. Listen Now

Exxon’s Tillerson, Trump’s choice for State Dept., has history in Alaska

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his nominee for secretary of state. National attention has focused on Tillerson’s close ties to Russia, but he – and his company – also has a long history in Alaska. Listen Now

Where does the soot come from that peppers Juneau Icefield?

Scientists this year started sampling the snow and ice above Southeast Alaska’s glaciers for the particles left from over from forest fires, diesel engines and industrial activity. The particles of black carbon can accelerate warming of glaciers and the atmosphere. The big question is: where does this carbon come from? Listen Now

Washington congresswoman will likely lead Trump’s Interior Department

Multiple national news outlets are reporting President-elect Donald Trump is set to pick Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican congresswoman from Washington state to lead the Department of Interior. She’s seen as friendly to industry, drawing criticism from some environmentalists. But others think she’s a relatively moderate pick. Listen Now

Ask a Climatologist: With snow and cold, ‘it’s Alaska again’

It’s winter again in Alaska. There’s snow on the ground across most of the state. Some places, notably Juneau, have a lot of fresh snow. It’s cold too, and those below normal temperatures are expected to stick around for the rest of the month. Listen Now

Pribilof scientists work to bring back decimated blue king crab population

The last commercial harvest of Pribilof Island blue king crab was in 1999. Extremely low population numbers have kept that fishery closed. Listen Now

Newtok to ask Obama for federal disaster declaration

The village of Newtok plans to request a federal disaster declaration from President Barack Obama before he leaves office. The village is facing rapid erosion due to climate change, and officials say a disaster declaration may be the best chance to unlock federal funds for relocation before the existing village becomes uninhabitable. Listen Now

How much oil is really in ANWR?

The coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ranks as one of the most controversial chunks of land in Alaska. Since Congress set it aside for more study in 1980, environmental groups, politicians and the industry have battled over whether to explore for oil there or to protect the wilderness forever. Listen Now

Mysterious sea lion decline persists in western Alaska

Alaska’s endangered Steller sea lion population continues its precipitous decline. The 2016 survey by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows an overall increase in the number of Steller sea lions across Alaska, but a mysterious drop in parts of the western stock. Listen Now

State moves to update its petroleum spill guidelines

Alaska’s petroleum-based economy means there are many opportunities for toxic petroleum-based spills. At least 80 percent of the contaminated sites that the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation deals with have petroleum products in them. Now, the Department is making moves to update the decades-old protocols it uses when petrochemicals leak into the soil and water. Listen Now

Plugging in could become cheaper for Juneau’s electric vehicle owners

The price to plug in could become a little cheaper for electric vehicle owners in Juneau. That’s because the city’s privately-owned electric utility is trying to expand a program, aimed at shifting when those drivers juice their cars. Listen Now

State unemployment data shows the bleak reality of an oil crash

As oil prices dropped, Alaska’s jobs have dwindled. The state’s oil and gas industry shed nearly 2,400 jobs in the first half of the year. That’s according to new data from the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Listen Now

BlueCrest gets a break from the state on $30 million loan

A state corporation has agreed to change the terms of a multi-million dollar loan to a Cook Inlet oil company. Texas-based BlueCrest asked for the loan modification to help the company deal with construction delays and the loss of oil tax credit payments from the state. Earlier this year, Gov. Bill Walker vetoed $430 million in oil tax credits, delaying payments to companies, including BlueCrest. Listen Now

Alaska leaders seek to avoid fight over oil taxes

Alaska’s leaders are getting ready for tough negotiations over how the state will deal with its multi-billion-dollar budget hole. How much the oil and gas industry should help fill that hole will be an especially controversial question for the legislature this session. Listen Now

Ask a Climatologist: Bitter cold makes a comeback in Alaska

Alaska has settled into a notable stretch of seriously cold weather. Communities around the state are enduring low temperatures they haven’t seen in a few years. And for more than a week, the average statewide temperature index has registered below normal- by far the longest stretch this year. Listen Now

Interior Dept. gives Ahtna region more say in moose, caribou hunt

In its final days, the Obama administration is forging ahead with a promise to include Alaska Native tribes in the management of fish and wildlife on federal land. Listen Now