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.

A wrench and a spark shut down TAPS for nine hours

A worker with a hand-wrench sparked the fire that shut down the trans-Alaska pipeline for nine hours in April. The fire forced the evacuation of more than 50 people at a remote pump station near Coldfoot. Download Audio

State fines Hilcorp $20K, cites pattern of violations

Hilcorp Alaska is facing a $20,000 penalty from the state for unsafe use of equipment on the North Slope. It's the latest in a string of violations for Hilcorp, which a state agency says has developed a pattern of regulatory noncompliance.

For first time, Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sale has no bidders

State officials announced this week that, for the first time ever, they received no bids for the annual oil and gas lease sale in Cook Inlet. The state Division of Oil and Gas blamed low oil prices. But industry representatives said lawmakers aren't helping. Download Audio
Alaska News Nightly by Alaska Public Media

Point Thomson gas development begins production on North Slope

The Point Thomson gas development on the North Slope has started production. In a web release, ExxonMobil states it will initially produce 5000 barrels per day of gas condensate and 100 million cubic feet per day of recycled gas that will be re-injected for future recovery. Download Audio

ConocoPhillips to add wells at CD5 site in Alpine Field

Oil development is ramping up in the National Petroleum Reserve. ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. says it's adding wells and other infrastructure at its CD5 site in the Alpine Field. Download Audio

Trans-Alaska Pipeline up and running after tank fire the previous day

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is back in operation following a tank fire that shut it down for 9 hours yesterday. Alyeska Pipeline Service Company spokeswoman Michelle Egan said workers at Pump Station 5 saw flames coming from a large crude oil storage tank at Pump Station 5 at the base of Atigun Pass in the Brooks Range around 2:20 Wednesday afternoon. Download Audio

How Murkowski crafted an energy bill that 80 senators have a stake in

The U.S. Senate is the final resting place for a lot of legislation, but today it passed a broad energy bill. It's passage is a political coup for its sponsor, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who says she had lots of co-authors. Download Audio

U.S. Senate passes Murkowski’s energy modernization bill

The U.S. Senate this morning passed Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s energy modernization bill, by a vote of 85-12.

Renewable Energy Fund, casualty of budget crunch, may get new lifeline

Since 2008, Alaska's Renewable Energy Fund has supported scores of projects around the state. But so far, it has not been included in this year's budget. Download Audio

Industry calls Senate oil tax credit bill “bad for Alaska”

As the Alaska House continues its marathon debate on the oil and gas tax credit bill, the Senate is moving its own version forward, hoping to beat the clock with just four days left. Download Audio

Oil and gas tax credit debate rages ahead of legislative session end

The House spent six hours debating oil and gas tax credits Tuesday night. And they’re not done yet – lawmakers will pick up the bill again Wednesday. Download Audio

Alaska House postpones vote on oil tax bill – again

For the second time in two days, House lawmakers have postponed a final vote on Gov. Bill Walker's controversial oil tax bill, a cornerstone of the governor's efforts to close the state's $4 billion budget deficit. Download Audio

Caelus Energy announces major cuts, sharply criticizes Walker oil tax bill

The North Slope oil producer announced Friday it will lay off 25 percent of its 80-person work force and suspend drilling at the Oooguruk oil field, potentially affecting hundreds more contractor jobs.

Changes to oil tax bill scale back incentives for new oil

With just over a week left in the legislative session, lawmakers are wrangling over the always-contentious issue of oil taxes. Gov. Bill Walker had requested a complete overhaul of the state's oil and gas tax credit program. The House Resources scaled back that proposal. Now, a third committee has weighed in. The House Finance committee chose a middle route -- while also introducing some changes that weren't even in the governor's bill. Download Audio

Offshore drilling plan draws protests

The tentative proposal would allow lease sales in the Arctic Ocean and Cook Inlet.

Rep. Olson bill would tax Permanent Fund dividends as budget stopgap

Representative Kurt Olson, a Soldotna Republican developed a plan to tax Permanent Fund dividends back in February. But he didn’t introduce it at the time, because he wanted to see how the debate over plans from Governor Bill Walker and others unfolded. Download Audio

At low prices, North Slope production taxes could drop to zero

Many lawmakers say they never understood how the tax system would work at very low prices. But industry says this was always part of the deal. Download Audio

Alaska’s unusual oil tax credit system poses daunting budget challenge

The state's refundable credit program is unusual - and huge. In recent years, refundable credits have become the third-largest line item in the general fund budget. Download Audio

Murkowski holds hearings to discuss public lands handling

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski is in Alaska holding field hearings as the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Monday, she invited leaders from the state’s energy, mining and labor sectors to offer their perspectives on how the federal government is doing its job managing public lands. Most of the testimony expressed frustration with federal regulations and how they are implemented. Download Audio

‘Huge anomaly’: warm winter limits sea-ice formation, experts say

Scientists say warm winter weather around the circumpolar north has led to another record-setting year of decreasing sea-ice coverage of the Arctic Ocean. The extent of sea ice formed over this past winter fell short of the previous record-low extent set last year. Download Audio