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.

Newtok asks: Can the U.S. deal with slow-motion climate disasters?

The village of Newtok has requested a federal disaster declaration from President Barack Obama to address ongoing erosion and thawing permafrost. It’s one of the first tests of whether the nation’s disaster relief laws can be used to deal with the slow-moving impacts of climate change. Listen now

A SE Alaska village thinks reneweable hydropower should be implemented

A multimillion dollar dam in Kake would make it easier to bring renewable energy to the village, which currently runs off diesel. But the definition of “renewable” isn’t the same in everyone’s book. Federal grants for hydro projects can be limited — compared to what’s available for wind and solar. Listen now

Feds release plan to stem decline of Cook Inlet belugas

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released its final plan to increase the population of Cook Inlet’s beluga whales and get them off the endangered species list. Listen now

TAPS kicks off 40th year with a little more oil than expected

For the first time in over a decade, the operator of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System announced a year-over-year increase in the amount of oil moving through the pipeline. Listen now

Monitoring Bogoslof: How life responds to volcanic destruction

Bogoslof Island is an important breeding ground for marine mammals and seabirds, making it the perfect place to monitor how life responds to volcanic destruction. Listen Now

State monitoring spill at Tesoro pipeline facility near Cook Inlet

Workers at a Tesoro facility on the Kenai Peninsula are cleaning up contaminated soil and snow after more than 120 gallons of oily water spilled out of a pipeline near Cook Inlet. The company notified the state of the spill at its Kenai Pipeline Facility on Dec. 18. Listen Now

Cuts to state jobs prompt union outcry

In a class action grievance filed Tuesday, the Alaska State Employees Association says the governor overlooked a crucial detail in its contract agreement. Listen Now

Freezing temps mean it’s time to clean the legacy wells on the North Slope

As the cold winter months hit the North Slope, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is heading back out to plug four old wells in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The agency hopes the process goes more smoothly this time around. Listen Now

Former tax division director weighs in on Prudhoe Bay oil tax case

Last week, Alaska’s Supreme Court issued an opinion on a Prudhoe Bay tax law case that has been open for 10 years. Alaska’s Energy Desk reporter Rashah McChesney spoke with the former Department of Revenue tax division head Dan Dickinson.Listen Now

In Southeast Alaska, the holiday spirit is diesel-powered

Diesel is running about $2.71 per gallon in Southeast Alaska, but in places that depend on diesel for electricity, there are still households that won’t let the cost dampen the holiday spirit. Listen Now

Oil industry prepares to fight to keep tax credits alive in 2017

When Governor Bill Walker released his state budget last week, the phrase “oil and gas tax credits” was notably absent from the announcement. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be a hot topic this year.Lawmakers in the new House majority coalition say the current oil and gas tax credit structure is unsustainable, and they're working on a bill to change it. Listen Now

Fight continues in Tongass over how to keep logging industry alive

The U.S. Forest Service wears a lot of hats. The agency oversees federal lands, repairs salmon streams and auctions off trees. In Alaska, timber sales are intended to stimulate the local economy, but industry groups say that through the years the forest service hasn’t made enough logs available to keep the industry alive. Now, with changes to federal regulations, even less old growth is slated for market. Listen Now

Timeline extended for state takeover of Alaska LNG project

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation is still trying to broker a deal to take over the Alaska LNG project, but it will not happen by its self-imposed end-of-the-year deadline. Listen Now

Ask a Climatologist: Tallying daylight on the darkest day of the year

Alaska marked the solstice early Wednesday morning at 1:44 a.m. So what does that mean for the amount of daylight across the state? Listen Now

Revenue department forecasts jump in oil prices, drop in production

When it comes to the state’s bottom line, the tax division’s revenue sources book predicts a patchwork of good and bad news for the state. The good? Oil prices are forecast to go up. The bad? The money coming in from oil revenue is nowhere near enough to close the state’s budget gap and production on the North Slope is forecast to go down. Listen Now

The feds are finally paying to move a village, but it’s not in Alaska

Alaska villages facing rapid erosion have been trying to move for decades. But they’ve always run up against one major problem: money. Then this year, for the first time, the federal government made tens of millions of dollars available to relocate a small Native village threatened by climate change. The problem is that village is in Louisiana, not Alaska. Listen Now

Obama brought attention to threatened Arctic villages, but little funding so far

It’s been more than a year since President Barack Obama visited Alaska and became the first sitting president to travel above the Arctic Circle. The trip was designed to draw attention to climate change in the lead up to last year’s international conference in Paris. And the president went out of his way to highlight Alaska villages threatened by rapid erosion. But as Obama prepares to leave office, most of those villages find themselves no closer to a solution. Listen Now

Alaska wildfires linked to climate change

2015 was a headline grabbing year for extreme weather events. Massive floods, extreme drought and low snowpack were seen around the globe. In Alaska, wildfires scorched over 5 million acres of land. Now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is taking a closer look and trying to figure out what caused them. Listen Now

Fracking in Alaska: Who should weigh in?

The state agency that oversees oil and gas drilling held a hearing Thursday, Dec. 15 on whether more public input is needed when a company wants to start hydraulic fracturing in Alaska. Environmental groups say this would allow more transparency, while the industry argues there are already enough rules to make sure hydraulic fracturing is safe. It’s up to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) to decide who is right.

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