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.

Newtok asks: Can the U.S. deal with slow-motion climate disasters?

The village of Newtok has requested a federal disaster declaration from President Barack Obama to address ongoing erosion and thawing permafrost. It’s one of the first tests of whether the nation’s disaster relief laws can be used to deal with the slow-moving impacts of climate change. Listen now

Ask a Climatologist: Alaska’s hottest temp ever matches Hawaii’s

Fairbanks hit 90 degrees last week for the first time in four years. The heat was very localized to the Tanana and Yukon river valleys. We asked Brian Brettschneider, with our Ask a Climatologist segment, which areas of Alaska usually see the hottest temperatures in the summer. He says the warmest temperatures are almost always found in the Interior.

Energy lobbyist denounces Walker’s oil and gas tax changes

The top energy industry lobbyist in Alaska denounced Governor Bill Walker’s proposed oil and gas tax changes on Monday. Alaska Oil and Gas Association President Kara Moriarty told the House Resources Committee that companies can’t afford higher costs when oil prices are low.

Department of Energy scientists to attend first Alaska National Lab Day

"We think we’ve got some great challenges right now for them and we hope they’ll pick some up," said Larry Hinzman, Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Listen now

Alaska’s congressional delegation sticking by Sea Grant

When President Donald Trump’s blueprint budget came out in March, it included eliminating funding for the Sea Grant program for next year. But Alaska’s congressional delegation doesn’t want it to go away. Listen now

Sealaska Corporation announces multimillion dollar deal to keep trees in the ground

Southeast’s regional Native corporation is using some of its lands for carbon sequestration. It’s the first carbon bank in the state to be approved for the California cap-and-trade market. Listen now

State gives timber industry group $1.3M in federal money to work with U.S. Forest Service

Documents obtained by Earthjustice show a contract between the state Division of Forestry and the Alaska Forest Association worth up to $1.3 million, or $260,000 a year, for a span of five years.

EPA head reverses course on Pebble, saying it may pose ‘unacceptable’ risk

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said the agency is suspending its effort to reverse an Obama-era proposal to put restrictions on the mine. Listen now

In Newtok, residents worry the encroaching river will destroy a way of life

When the river takes the first houses, the village could start to scatter. And Newtok’s blend of the modern and traditional could erode away with the land. Listen now

BP’s Alaska exit no surprise, say experts and industry insiders

BP's exit from Alaska was rumored long before it was officially announced on Tuesday. But that's not the only reason the company's $5.6 billion deal with Hilcorp is far from surprising, experts and industry insiders said.

Dunleavy says money set aside for Alaska schools is subject to veto. Lawmakers disagree.

A new fight is erupting in Juneau about spending on Alaska's public schools. It centers on whether Gov. Mike Dunleavy has the power to veto money state lawmakers set aside for schools last year, for the upcoming school year – a practice called "forward funding."

$63B and counting: How long can Alaska’s Permanent Fund keep growing so fast?

Right after the last big global financial crisis in 2008, Alaska’s sovereign wealth fund had about $25 billion dollars in it.  And today, Alaska’s Permanent Fund has $63 billion in it. It doubled in size in less than a decade. Listen now

Budget deal is done, but oil tax reform remains elusive

The budget passed by the Legislature this week doesn't include about $775 million owed to oil companies in refundable tax credits this year. Democrats say, if companies want those credits, there has to be oil tax reform. Download Audio

In Arctic Village, Gwich’in leaders say the fight to stop drilling in the Arctic Refuge isn’t over

Until recently, Gwich'in tribes were on the winning side of battle over over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Then, in late 2017, Congress opened the coastal plain to oil development So Gwich'in tribes are now taking unprecedented steps to try to protect the caribou herd they depend on.

6 U.S. Senators and 1 U.S. Secretary head to Oscarville

Six U.S. senators and the U.S. Secretary of Energy traveled to Bethel Monday to hold a hearing on Alaska’s energy challenges and innovations. The team included the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, lead by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. But before the hearing, the group went on a field trip to see where those challenges and innovations intersect.

From the oil patch to oil & vinegar

Facing the first real recession in three decades, Alaskans adapt Listen now

What road lies ahead for Juneau’s electric cars?

Juneau’s privately-owned electric utility is trying to plan for a future that includes more electric cars. Listen now

Oil on exhibit: What Alaska’s past says about its future

The State Library, Archives and Museum opened recently in Juneau with a new display that includes a piece of the trans-Alaska pipeline as part of an exhibit on the oil industry. But the drama of the state’s current fiscal crisis puts that history in a new light. Listen now

For decades, the government stood between the Unangan people and the seals they subsist on. Now, that’s changing.

The tribal government of St. Paul island, in the Bering Sea, has pushed the federal government for years to relax strict subsistence rules that have blocked access to seals and forced residents to buy expensive groceries. New rules could take effect soon, but they face opposition amid a decline in the seal population.