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.

Less sea ice means shorter hunting season for polar bears and scientists

Scientists travel into the Arctic every year to study polar bears. It helps them estimate the population. But this year, they had to cut that research short. Melting sea ice is making the task a lot more difficult. Listen now

Flights cancelled as Pavlov continues to spew ash

Alaska Airlines is canceling dozens of flights as Pavlof volcano, on the Alaska Peninsula - spews ash more than 30 thousand feet in the air. Download Audio

North Slope village tribal government sues over ConocoPhillips’ drilling plans

Along with five environmental groups, the Native Village of Nuiqsut is challenging the Bureau of Land Management's approval of ConocoPhillips' exploratory drilling plans this winter in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Former climate official says details surrounding his reassignment look “damning” for Trump admin

Joel Clement resigned in October after being ousted from his position working on issues like coastal resilience and village relocation in Alaska. Listen now

Ask a Climatologist: Fairbanks records early first freeze

Fairbanks gets the first freeze of the season about a week ahead of normal. 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

As wildfires blaze, Southeast glaciers could be feeling the melt

Out on the glimmering white expanse of the Juneau ice field, a group of students and scientists work an assembly line of sorts. Listen now

State proposes fine for safety violations at Ahtna-owned gas exploration well

The state is proposing a $380,000 fine for Alaska Native corporation Ahtna, Inc., for safety violations at a gas well near Glennallen. Listen now

Ask a Climatologist: The connection between sea ice and global weather

In the past, climate models have struggled to connect ocean conditions with what happens in the atmosphere. But two new studies do a much better job describing that link. Listen now

Nonprofit raises questions over recent Donlin state permits

A Montana-based nonprofit group that participates in mine permitting across the U.S. thinks the company has room to improve the mine plans that were recently approved by the state.

Fall whaling in Utqiaġvik: joy, excitement and this year, mourning too

Whaling Captain Crawford Patkotak says many in the community are still mourning the loss of two whalers in an accident this season, but the overarching dedication to continuing the tradition of whaling remains strong. Listen now

ConocoPhillips cuts spending in Alaska by another $200M as oil prices sink

ConocoPhillips said Thursday that it will cut capital spending in Alaska by another $200 million as demand plummets and oil prices tumble to an 18-year low. That’s on top of a $200 million reduction the oil giant announced last month.

State concerned about tanker escort design for Prince William Sound

State regulators are asking the operator of the trans-Alaska pipeline and oil shippers to offer more proof that new tugboats being built for Prince William Sound are up to the job of preventing major oil spills. Listen now

Hilcorp revived this declining North Slope oil field. Can it do the same for Prudhoe Bay?

While many North Slope fields are only the decline, production at Hilcorp's Milne Point has actually increased by huge amounts. Now, the company is acquiring the massive Prudhoe Bay field, raising hopes of a similar revival there.
Rocks (ore) separated by wooden planks

Donlin Gold to begin drilling program

It’s going to be a busy year for Donlin Gold. The company is gearing up for another round of geotechnical drilling, its first in two years.

Walker hopeful plan to pay off oil tax credit debt with bonds will pass this session

What the state owes in tax credit payouts varies wildly from year to year. By paying off the tax credit debt with bonds, the repayment rate would theoretically become predictable. Listen now

Alaska Sea Grant program “hopeful but not confident” funding won’t be cut

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) received a surprise on Friday: The Trump administration is proposing deep cuts to the organization, which focuses on fisheries and climate science. As reported in the Washington Post, NOAA’s could lose 26 percent of its overall budget. The Sea Grant program, with more than a dozen projects in Alaska, could be hit particularly hard. Listen now