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.

Prudhoe Bay rig count to drop by more than half

BP has announced it will cut the number of drill rigs operating at Prudhoe Bay, from five to two, as a result of low oil prices.

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

Federal researchers open formal investigation into gray whale deaths, including Alaska’s

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday that the 70 dead whales seen this year it constitutes an "unusual mortality event."

New York Times reporter discusses story revealing ANWR oil test well was ‘worthless’

This week, the New York Times published a story uncovering a long-held Alaska secret: it revealed that the only exploratory oil well ever drilled in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was "worthess." Alaska's Energy Desk reporter Elizabeth Harball talked to Henry Fountain, one of the New York Times reporters who broke the story.

Seeking hidden ‘pockets of oil’, BP takes on a massive project at Prudhoe Bay

The 3-D seismic survey is part of the effort to keep the oil field alive for decades to come.

Alaska’s largest rural solar project set to break ground in Kotzebue

The city of Kotzebue has used wind power for decades to supplement its fuel use, and is now about to break ground on a brand new solar project.

Sea lion feeding hot spots have reliable, not necessarily abundant, food

New research could help wildlife managers better protect declining Steller sea lion populations. The study looks at why sea lions zero in on specific hunting hotspots. Listen now

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

U.N. committee moves toward banning heavy fuel oil in the Arctic

"It is a big deal that the IMO has been looking at a ban," Kevin Harun of Pacific Environment, a conservation organization, said. "It’s a very cautious body and it normally does not act without strong support from countries." Listen now

Feds approve first oil exploration in Arctic federal waters since Shell

It's the first oil exploration in Arctic federal waters since Shell abandoned its campaign in 2015. The company, Eni, aims to begin drilling in December. Listen now

Massive sea bird die-off linked to food scarcity during “the blob,” new study says

When the last “Blob” hit the Pacific, an area of the ocean larger than Canada experienced surface ocean temperatures rise as much as 7 degrees, completely altering the marine ecosystem for more than two years. The result was havoc in the food chain.

The state’s new budget director is a well-known fiscal hawk

Donna Arduin has worked on cutting spending for governors in six other states. She’s expected to propose deep cuts to address the $1.6 billion hole in the state’s budget.

Decades of trawl surveys help Bering Sea climate change research

There’s a new tool to help scientists and others interested in monitoring how Bering Sea fisheries respond to a changing climate. Listen now

Don’t count on oil to bail out Alaska’s budget soon, says unpublished state tax memo

The National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska is a hot area for oil development right now. But don’t count on new production there to bail out the state budget any time soon. That’s the takeaway from a previously unpublished, two-month-old analysis drafted by former independent Gov. Bill Walker’s administration.

AK: The journey of Alaska’s go-to man in China

It took a lot of work for Alaska to break into the Chinese market. One man has been at it for decades: Yingdi Wang, the Chinese-born, American citizen who is the state’s go-to guy in China. Listen now

This halibut hook is an innovation for the past, present and future

Few people still use the hand-carved halibut hook. But there’s a push to make sure the tradition sticks around. Listen now

Small spill reported at Valdez Marine Terminal

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company estimates the volume of crude oil spilled to be less than 100 gallons. Listen now

State approves pipeline lease for Donlin Gold, another step toward building the mine in Southwest Alaska

The state of Alaska approved a right-of-way lease for Donlin Gold’s proposed 315-mile gas pipeline on Jan. 17. The lease is an important step forward in the company’s quest to build the Donlin Gold Mine, which could be one of the largest in the world if completed.

As Capitol reporters dwindle, Alaska lawmakers grapple with rise of political blogs

The newest member of the Alaska Capitol press corps isn't your average reporter -- he once made the news for posing for photos in a Speedo. But he's one of a growing number of political bloggers who are trying to fill in gaps left by Alaska's shrinking mainstream media.

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