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.

Alaska job forecast holds steady despite plunging oil prices

As oil prices have dropped to levels that were unthinkable just a year ago, many Alaskans are wondering whether the state is facing economic calamity. The short answer is: not yet. We spoke with state labor economist Neal Fried, to ask how it's possible that at $30 dollars a barrel, Alaska is still doing pretty well. Download Audio

Senate to take up energy modernization bill

The big snow storm that struck the East Coast over the weekend has delayed the start of Congress’s work week. But when the Senate returns, it will take up one of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s biggest priorities: an energy modernization bill. Murkowski says the energy world has changed a lot since 2007, when the last such bill passed Congress. Download Audio
BlueCrest’s site north of Anchor Point.

BlueCrest’s construction phase nearing completion

BlueCrest Energy is continuing preparations to drill for oil in the Cosmopolitan Unit at its 37.5-acre site on the Cook Inlet bluff about 5.5 miles north of Anchor Point.

On methane, Alaska tells feds to clean up their act first

The Interior Department has proposed new rules aimed at reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Download Audio

Alaska, Inc: The roots of the Permanent Fund dividend

As lawmakers consider changes to the Permanent Fund and dividend, we look back at how, and why, these two very Alaskan institutions were created. Download Audio

Gov’s plan aims to reshape state’s relationship with oil

Governor Bill Walker says the state must change how it does business: he argues it's time for Alaska to tap its enormous savings accounts. Download Audio
Alaska North Slope crude prices between Jan. 1, 2003 and Jan. 5, 2016. (Data from Alaska Department of Revenue/Graphic by Josh Edge/APRN)

North Slope crude hits 3rd-lowest mark since 2009

Crude prices continue to fall across the United States -- with Brent Crude Oil setting an 11-year low, dipping below $33 per barrel Thursday morning. Alaska North Slope crude is following a similar track, coming in at $34.82 per barrel on Jan. 5 - the most recently-reported price. Download Audio

S&P warns further downgrades may be on horizon

Standard & Poor's downgraded Alaska's credit rating Tuesday after months of warnings to shore up the state budget. With plunging oil prices wreaking havoc on the state's budget, the agency knocked the state down a notch from the top AAA rating it has held for the last four years. Download Audio

Amid plunging gas prices, how competitive is Alaska LNG?

This month, the state committed to another year of work on the Alaska LNG project, the effort to bring natural gas from the North Slope to the Kenai Peninsula for export. But with natural gas prices plunging alongside oil, APRN's Rachel Waldholz asks: should Alaska be worried? Download Audio

Governor’s budget proposes major changes to oil tax credits

The governor's budget gets about half a billion dollars from the oil and gas industry, proposing deep cuts to the state's system of oil and gas tax credits.

Shell seeks to extend drilling rights off Alaska

The company filed an appeal on Tuesday, asking the federal government to reconsider extending its drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, which are set to expire by 2020. Download Audio

Hilcorp plans gravel island to extract Arctic offshore oil

Arctic offshore drilling by Royal Dutch Shell PLC drew protests on two continents this year, but a more modest proposal for extracting petroleum where polar bears roam has moved forward with much less attention.

Two Interior Energy Project proposals under consideration

The Interior Energy Project remains focused on getting natural gas to the region at long targeted price point. IEP team leader Bob Shefchik says proposals being considered from 2 vying project partners would provide gas to customers at a price equivalent to 2 dollar heating oil.

Gov calls for permanent fund overhaul, income tax, cuts to PFD

Gov. Bill Walker released his plan for dealing with the state's mammoth budget deficit. It includes Alaska's first income tax since 1980, and a complete overhaul of the permanent fund -- effectively cutting PFD checks in half next year. Download Audio

BOEM staffers say rush for Arctic study undermined their work

When Shell announced it was giving up on its leases in the Arctic Ocean, it blamed, in part, the challenging regulatory climate. But an inspector general’s report released today says many of the government regulators who worked the Arctic lease case felt they were too rushed to provide a rigorous review. Download Audio

Tanacross hydropower project nets $500K federal grant

A small hydropower project near Tanacross is one step closer to fruition after receiving a half-million dollar federal grant. Download Audio

Tesoro’s Flint Hills acquisition expected to streamline petroleum distribution

Tesoro’s pending acquisition of Flint Hill’s fuel distribution and marketing operations in Fairbanks, North Pole and Anchorage, will streamline the transportation of refined petroleum products from Southcentral to the Interior. Download Audio

Murkowski declares ANWR wilderness bill ‘dead on arrival’

A pair of Democratic senators have introduced a bill to designate parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a permanent wilderness area, prompting outrage from Alaska Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski.

Report recommends limited changes to oil tax credits

The state paid out more than half a billion dollars in refundable tax credits this past year -- and gave up another half a billion in credits deducted from companies' tax liabilities. Download Audio

New rules may help small energy projects sell to the grid

New rules could make it possible to develop more alternative energy in Alaska, by making it easier for independent projects to sell their power to the grid. Download Audio