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.

Pipeline Promises: Alaska’s 40-year quest for a natural gas line

For more than 40 years, Alaska has tried, and failed, to bring natural gas from the North Slope to market. In this 5-part series, Alaska's Energy Desk explores why the state has struck out - and what it plans to try next.

State calls a truce in Prudhoe Bay dispute

Gov. Bill Walker’s administration has called a truce in its dispute with the big three North Slope oil producers over plans for Prudhoe Bay.

Alaskans weigh in on this year’s smaller dividend check

It’s PFD announcement day in Alaska — but it’s a little less exciting than usual. That’s because this year, for the first time in the program’s history, it’s been cut. Governor Bill Walker announced in a pre-recorded video on Friday exactly how much Alaskans would receive in this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend check: $1,022.

Questions surround Walker’s gas line plan

Gov. Bill Walker is making the case that his new gas line plan will get the project off the drawing board and on to Alaskan soil. But it’s not hard to find skeptics who say Walker is just creating more paperwork.

Alaska emergency crews study up for nation’s first LNG by rail

Starting tomorrow, the Alaska Railroad will be the first in the nation to carry liquefied natural gas by rail. With the Federal Rail Administration’s blessing, LNG will travel the tracks from Anchorage to Fairbanks.

BlueCrest neighbors adjust to life near a bustling oil pad

Residents of a tiny Kenai Peninsula subdivision near Anchor Point thought they had a little slice of peace and quiet. But a tract of homestead land to the south held an oil test well. And now it’s home to 38 acres of an active oil well, processing train, natural gas flare, workers’ camp, truck filling station and a five-story rig that is about to start drilling 30 more wells. LISTEN NOW

LNG rail shipments to begin demonstrations

The Alaska Railroad will be the first to transport liquefied natural gas by rail in the United States. The Alaska Railroad Corporation was granted permission by the Federal Railroad Administration to move LNG last year and testing is slated to start next week. LISTEN NOW

Pipeline Promises: Alaska’s quest for a natural gas line

For more than forty years, the state has tried, and failed, to bring natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope to market. In all, there have been at least ten different versions of the pipeline mega project. And not one has come close to breaking ground. This week, Alaska's Energy Desk is examining some of the reasons why the state has struck out in its efforts to bring it's substantial natural gas reserves to market. LISTEN NOW

A hydro license brings district heating one step closer in Juneau

After years of waiting, Juneau Hydropower Inc. was recently awarded a federal license for Sweetheart Lake Dam. It gives the company the go-ahead to start serious planning for a new multi-million dollar hydro facility. It could power a gold mine and supply heat to the downtown core of the capital city with an innovative system. Listen now

State Natural Resources department hires new oil and gas overseer

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources announced it has hired a new deputy commissioner in charge of oil and gas. Mark Wiggin left Brooks Range Petroleum to take the post, where he worked as an engineering and development manager. Listen now

No range anxiety for Juneau electric car owners

If the capital city were a state, it ranks with places like California when it comes to the number of electric vehicles per capita on the road. And Juneau’s EVs owners love to show off. This past weekend, the quiet cars rolled into a local park so the public could take a glimpse.

Group launches campaign to keep Arctic in oil lease plan

Alaska and national business and labor groups launched a media campaign Monday to keep Arctic areas in the next five-year federal offshore leasing plan. Twenty groups organized as the Arctic Coalition are urging the Obama administration to retain a Beaufort Sea lease sale in 2020 and a Chukchi Sea lease sale in 2022.

Alaska Natives protesting Dakota Access pipeline share mixed views on oil

About 60 demonstrators, including many Alaska Natives, gathered in downtown Anchorage Saturday afternoon to sing, dance and carry signs. They were there to support North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux tribe in their fight against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
The view from Point Hope, early winter 2015. (Photo by Ellen Chenoweth/University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Oil and subsistence in the warming Arctic: A conversation with Tom Kizzia

In the most recent issue of The New Yorker, Alaska writer and longtime former ADN reporter Tom Kizzia looks back at the debate over offshore drilling in North Slope communities. Kizzia visited Point Hope to report on how climate change is affecting the region’s twin pillars: oil development and subsistence hunting.

As tiny homes take root, where do you park them in Alaska?

There might be a small solution to the capital city’s housing problem but it’s not without its roadblocks. A Juneau company is building its first tiny house on wheels to sell commercially and it intends to make more. The diminutive dwelling is crafted with reclaimed materials and locally-sourced wood.

One People Canoe Society to paddle for Standing Rock Tribe to protest controversial pipeline

Members of the One People Canoe Society will travel this week from Alaska to North Dakota to paddle in protest over a controversial pipeline. Listen now
Dr. Deena Paramo

Clock is ticking on state dispute with Prudhoe Bay leaseholders

The clock is ticking on a dispute between Governor Bill Walker's administration and the state's largest oil producers.

As summer ends, daily high temperature records fall around the state

In climate terms, Wednesday marks the official end of summer. That’s because June, July and August are the hottest months of the year. And in Alaska, it was really hot this summer. Listen now

Forest service gives go ahead for Kuiu Island timber sale

An old growth timber sale recently announced in a Ketchikan newspaper has one conservation group scratching its head. That’s because this type of harvest — near valuable salmon streams — won’t be allowed in the future. Listen now

Should Alaskans fear diseases frozen in the permafrost?

Russian officials say warming permafrost could be linked to a deadly anthrax outbreak in Siberia this month. Permafrost can be found almost everywhere in Alaska — from the Arctic coast to Anchorage. But at least one expert isn’t alarmed about the potential for thawing ground to bring old diseases back to life. Listen now