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.

Gov. Bill Walker at a press conference in the Capitol, Oct. 23, 2015. He announced that he was dropping a proposed natural gas reserves tax from the special session agenda. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Gov pulls reserves tax from special session

Gov. Bill Walker has pulled a controversial reserves tax from consideration during the legislature’s special session, after receiving assurances from the state’s partners in the Alaska LNG project that should any one company pull out, it would not withhold its gas from the project.

BLM approves drilling permit in Alaska petroleum reserve

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has approved a drilling permit that it says will open the way for the first oil and gas production from federal land in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Download Audio

What is the Alaska LNG project? We break it down: Part 1

Lawmakers are heading to Juneau to discuss the Alaska LNG project - a so-called "gigaproject" with a price tag of $45-$65 billion. But if you're like a lot of Alaskans, you might be a little fuzzy on the details. So we break it down. Download Audio

Walker: I’ll pull reserves tax if AKLNG partners cement withdrawal agreement

With two days to go until the session opens, it’s already off to a testy start. Download Audio

State finalizes purchase of Fairbanks Natural Gas

Interior Alaska residents are expected to see a drop in their energy bills this winter now that the state has purchased Fairbanks Natural Gas.
The sun sets on the Polar Pioneer in Unalaska's Broad Bay in 2015. (Photo by John Ryan, KUCB - Unalaska)

Obama Administration cancels offshore lease sales, citing lack of interest

The Interior Department won't auction off drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the next two years. The auctions would have been the first in the Arctic Ocean since 2008, and the first under President Obama. Download Audio

Are big energy projects the solution for Alaska’s budget crisis?

What's the prognosis for big energy projects in Alaska? Shell's abandoned the Arctic and state lawmakers are about to duke it out over an expensive new natural gas line. We'll dig into fossil fuel projects. Is the proposed gas line a real solution for the state's budget crisis or CPR on a flailing economy? APRN: Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 at 10:00am Download Audio

Hearing ends 26 years of litigation over Exxon Valdez oil spill

The state and federal governments have decided not to pursue a final $100-million from ExxonMobil over its 1989 oil spill in Prince William Sound. Download Audio

Oil company deal postpones North Slope drilling

Two oil companies say they are shifting their ownership split on an oil field development project in Alaska and will delay work planned for this winter.

State, feds won’t pursue $92M more in ’89 Exxon Valdez spill

The state and federal governments have decided not to pursue $92 million in additional damages from Exxon Mobil Corp., citing the recovery of ducks and sea otters in Alaska's Prince William Sound following a devastating oil spill more than two decades ago. Download Audio

With $3B budget deficit, lawmakers eye oil tax credits

With the state facing a deficit next year of more than $3 billion, lawmakers face the always vexing question of what can be cut. One option on the table is reducing tax credits for oil and gas companies. Download Audio

Shell oil rigs leave the Arctic, skip Seattle

Shell's two Arctic oil rigs pulled into Unalaska's Dutch Harbor on Sunday, some 1,100 miles south of the company's drilling site in the Chukchi Sea. Download Audio

Why did Shell walk away from Alaska?

Shell’s announcement left the state wondering what to blame -- low oil prices? Tough regulations? Better prospects elsewhere? In other words, is it us -- or is it Shell? Download Audio

Walker, Chenault spar over AK LNG session agenda

Later this month, state lawmakers will convene for their third special session of the year -- this time to discuss the Alaska LNG project. But with just two weeks to go, they have yet to see the legislation they'll be discussing - Gov. Bill Walker hasn't released it. Download Audio

Anchorage advances purchase plan for Conoco gas leases

As state officials ready for a special session, Anchorage is moving one step closer to expanding ownership over nearby gas fields in upper Cook Inlet. Download Audio

Miller Energy files for bankruptcy protection

An energy company primarily doing business in Alaska has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Arctic Energy Summit focuses on both fossil fuels and renewables

Representatives from across the circumpolar North are meeting this week in Fairbanks for the Arctic Energy Summit. Download Audio

Reactions to Shell’s decision range from remorse to relief

Governor Bill Walker is calling Shell’s announcement a "huge disappointment." He says the end of Shell’s offshore dreams means the state must push harder for the federal government to allow drilling in another controversial region -- the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Murkowski calls Shell pull-out a ‘kick in the gut’

Sen. Lisa Murkowski says news that Shell is pulling out of the Alaska Arctic hit her hard. Download Audio

Sen. McGuire won’t seek re-election in 2016

Senator Lesil McGuire, a Republican from Anchorage, likely surprised attendees at the Arctic Energy Summit in Fairbanks today when she announced she would not seek re-election next year. Download Audio