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.

AK: With sustainable logging in mind, Galena looks to forests for fuel

Large-scale logging on the Yukon River started about a hundred years ago. These days, villages like Galena are once again looking to the forest for an energy supply. But this time, a new generation of loggers is thinking more about sustainability. Listen now:

Conoco advances project in NPR-A; Independents snap up North Slope leases

ConocoPhillips announced today (Nov. 18) that it will move ahead with construction of a $900 million project in the North Slope's National Petroleum Reserve. And small independent companies collectively spent $9.5 million for the right to drill on state land on the North Slope.

Statoil will exit Alaska, following Shell

Norwegian oil company Statoil said Tuesday (Nov. 17) that it will end exploration efforts in the Chukchi Sea and close its Anchorage office. The decision comes just two months after Shell ended its quest to drill in the Arctic Ocean, citing disappointing results at its first well. Download Audio

Gas line team reshuffle puts scrutiny on high salaries

As the state prepares to take a larger role in the Alaska LNG gas line project, its leadership team is once again in flux. The changes are bringing new attention to the salaries involved -- including one negotiator who has been paid about $120,000 a month since June. Download Audio

Warming landscape triggers northward habitat shift

For years scientists have documented changes in Alaska’s vegetation due to a warmer climate. Now, researchers are noting animals establishing new habitats on the North Slope in response to the altered landscape. Download Audio

Alaska holding out against emission-cutting policies

The Arctic is on the front lines of climate change. Alaska is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet. A group called Alaska Common Ground hosted an all-day forum in Anchorage over the weekend to answer the question, "What are we doing about it?" Download Audio

Reporters’ roundtable: the Alaska LNG project

The Alaska LNG special session came to a close last week. It was the third special session held this year. Zachariah Hughes hosts a reporter's roundtable diving into the complex issues surround the LNG project. What decisions came out of this session? And what exactly does this mean for Alaska? Listen Now:

Arctic Council looks to Alaska citizen science network

A tribal citizen science network that got its start in Alaska is being touted as a model for tracking climate change in the Arctic. The eight-nation Arctic Council plans to expand the Local Environmental Observer Network to other Arctic nations. Download Audio

Forecast: $80 oil at decade’s end

The International Energy Agency is predicting the return of higher oil prices, but not soon enough to end the gut punch to Alaska’s budget. Download Audio

Feds take public comment on Hilcorp’s offshore Liberty project

Shell may have given up on drilling off Alaska's coast, but federal regulators are now taking public comment on another -- though very different -- offshore drilling proposal. Download Audio

Homer, state argue over gas assessments

The City of Homer wants the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to pay a little more than $26,000 in natural gas assessments for eight state-owned plots of land. DOT refuses. The city and DOT are negotiating a solution. Download Audio

Ice locked in glaciers may substantially contribute to sea level rise

Researchers say more than half the ice locked up in glaciers could be gone by the end of the century. A new study suggests the resulting runoff could raise the earth’s oceans three inches or more. The study suggests fisheries and hydro-electric dams could also be impacted by the change. Download Audio

Study: Tundra fires induce permafrost melt, land change

Wildfire on Arctic tundra can cause permafrost melt from the top down, contributing to landscape slumping, known as thermokarst. Download Audio

With Alaska LNG project, how secret is too secret?

The Alaska legislature officially gaveled out of its third special session this year. The House and Senate united behind Gov. Bill Walkers bid to buy out TransCanada. But the session was also marked by divides, especially over how much of the project should be kept secret. Download Audio

Interior Energy Project finalists pitch their plans

The Interior Energy Project is moving forward. Wednesday night finalists for an effort to bring natural gas to Fairbanks made public presentations at Pioneer Park. Download Audio

House approves TransCanada buyout

With a unanimous vote in the House on Wednesday, the Alaska legislature has approved Gov. Bill Walker’s request to end the state’s partnership with TransCanada -- and take a larger role in the project to build a natural gas line from the North Slope. Download Audio

Study: Carbon emissions from northern fires likely underestimated

A recent study indicates fires in the Yukon Flat region of Alaska are releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than previously thought. Download Audio

Alaska LNG representatives visit Homer Rotary

The Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay hosted representatives of the Alaska LNG Project Thursday. Alaska LNG is a co-venture between the state and other stakeholders: Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and TransCanada. The project representatives said they want to give Alaskans a clearer picture of what Alaska LNG will mean for their communities.

Senate votes to buy out TransCanada, take larger stake in Alaska LNG

The State Senate voted 16 to 3 on Tuesday, Nov. 3, to buy out TransCanada and take a larger stake in the Alaska LNG gas pipeline project. Download Audio

Rising seas, peat may have caused Ice Age extinction event

A research paper published yesterday says large ice age mammals may have gone extinct in northern Alaska when grassland turned to peat and rising sea levels covered the Bering Land Bridge. Download Audio