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.

NASA keeps watch of shrinking Arctic ice

The future of monitoring Arctic ice begins in space. Listen now

Uptick in oil prices helps Alaska’s bottom line, but not much

Oil prices were up for the third straight week last week. Listen now
The Crystal Serenity is the largest passenger ship to traverse the Northwest Passage, traveling from Seward to New York City. Photo: Rachel Waldholz, Alaska's Energy Desk

Is the Arctic ready for the Crystal Serenity?

It's the largest cruise ship to navigate the route, which hugs the coasts of Alaska, Canada and Greenland. And it's attracted international attention, with many wondering if it’s a sign of what’s to come as the Arctic sees increasingly ice-free summers. Listen now

Fire Island Wind sees expansion on the horizon

After years of talks and setbacks, there’s momentum to expand the Fire Island Wind project. The first turbines started spinning on the island near Anchorage four years ago, but a planned expansion has been stalled ever since. Listen now

El Nino is out. Will La Nina follow?

One of the strongest El Ninos on record ended in May. A strong La Nina would normally follow. But that isn’t a sure bet this time around. Listen now

Cleaner electricity for Peninsula village to arrive by way of Anchorage

The Native Village of Perryville on the Alaska Peninsula has a new power generator. It will help the village use more renewable power and save on costs. Contractors have almost finished putting it together –- but at the moment, it’s almost 500 miles away from its destination. Listen now

As wildfires blaze, Southeast glaciers could be feeling the melt

Out on the glimmering white expanse of the Juneau ice field, a group of students and scientists work an assembly line of sorts. Listen now

On the scene with the Crystal Serenity

Tonight, the cruise ship Crystal Serenity will cast off from Seward for a first-of-it’s kind trip through the Arctic’s Northwest Passage to New York City. It’s the first luxury liner to attempt the route -- and the largest passenger ship by far. Listen now

At DNR, new leader tackles ‘maze’ of oil and gas development on federal land

From Soldotna to the North Slope to Anchorage, the state’s newest natural resources commissioner has spent his career weighing in on energy issues all over the state. Now, Andy Mack has been tapped by Gov. Bill Walker to help guide the state through the maze of federal regulations required to develop oil and gas resources. Listen now
John Hendrix started work as Gov. Bill Walker's chief oil and gas adviser in July 2016. Photo: Rachel Waldholz, Alaska's Energy Desk

Walker’s new oil and gas advisor wants to put some “grit” in the system

When Gov. Bill Walker announced the creation of a new cabinet position — a chief oil and gas adviser — he framed it as a way to improve his administration’s often rocky relationship with the oil and gas industry. Listen now

Why students and scientists spend summer on ice

The Juneau Icefield Research Program has been around for 70 years. First, exploring the icy expanse. And later, tracking the rate Southeast glaciers are shrinking.

Anchorage logs warmest month on record

Anchorage just recorded its warmest month on record. July was four degrees above normal, with an average temperature of nearly 63 degrees. Listen now

State fund for renewable power falls prey to budget woes

Since 2008, the state has set aside a pot of money for renewable energy projects like small dams and wind turbines. Called the Renewable Energy Fund, the projects it's backed have replaced tens of millions of gallons of expensive diesel in communities from Skagway to Nome. Listen now
Dean Westlake is challenging Barrow Rep. Bennie Nageak in the Democratic primary; in 2014, Westlake lost the race by 131 votes. Photo: Rachel Waldholz/Alaska’s Energy Desk

Democrats target their own in state House primary, backing Nageak challenger

Democrats are hoping to take control of the state House this year. To achieve that, they're gunning for two lawmakers who run as Democrats but largely vote with the Republicans. One is Rep. Bennie Nageak, D-Barrow, who represents House District 40, which stretches from Kotzebue to Kaktovik.

Shell returns to Unalaska

Shell is back in Unalaska. Dutch Harbor was a staging area for Shell’s unsuccessful search for oil in the Arctic Ocean last year. This week, three ships — the Aiviq, the Dino Chouest, and the Ross Chouest — associated with Shell’s Arctic efforts arrived in Unalaska on a mission to remove the last signs of that effort. Listen now

AK: YCC introduces Alaska kids to the Aleutians — and careers

What happens when five teenagers pile onto a research vessel and go island hopping through the Aleutians in the name of conservation? Science. Education. And maybe a peek into their futures. Listen now

BLM to review new ConocoPhillips project in National Petroleum Reserve

The Bureau of Land Management is launching an environmental review of ConocoPhillips' most recent proposal in the National Petroleum Reserve, called Greater Mooses Tooth 2. Listen now

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