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.

State Economist says global spike in oil prices not likely to affect price forecast

In Alaska, North Slope crude rose to more than $63 a barrel by Monday. Listen now

Unalaska revisits wind power, hoping for a renewable energy source

Residents are eager to find out if wind will be Unalaska's ticket to a greener future. Listen now

The U.S. Forest Service sued over Kuiu Island timber sale

The forest service received zero bids on the timber sale in 2016. Earlier this month, it went out for bid again. Listen now

BLM projects ‘insignificant’ impact from seismic work in ANWR

Officials from the Bureau of Land Management expect "no significant impact" from a 3d seismic survey in the Arctic Refuge. They expect to approve the request in time for work to begin this winter. Enviros say the work could disturb denning polar bears. Listen now

In Fairbanks, building a home on permafrost with an uncertain future

When Benesch bought this property back in 1999, he was pretty sure it had permafrost under it, though he didn’t know for certain. Listen now

As Alaska warms, the Y-K Delta heats up even faster

Regional temperatures are a big deal because Y-K Delta residents can only travel to other villages by water or by plane. In the past the river usually froze thick enough before December to allow for an ice road, but that hasn’t been the case for the last couple of years.

Don’t count on oil to bail out Alaska’s budget soon, says unpublished state tax memo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 That’s the takeaway from a previously unpublished, two-month-old analysis drafted by former independent Gov.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.

Cash-strapped state of Alaska takes aim at North Slope government’s oil money

A proposal by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy would strip the North Slope Borough of its power to collect nearly $400 million in property taxes from oil companies each year. The idea gets at a longstanding question: How much money from oil should stay in the North Slope, where it’s pumped from the ground?

Donlin Gold looks to schools, workforce development for future employees

Donlin Gold promised to hire local workers for its proposed gold mine. To fulfill that promise, the company knows that it has to start now and it has to start young.

Village of Igiugig one step closer to replacing diesel electricity with hydrokinetic system

“One year from now, we’ll know whether the community would like to own this device,” says IVC President AlexAnna Salmon. “If it really is going to prove itself to be an effective option for providing power.”

A year after a dam was removed, this river near Anchorage is still waiting for water

The effort to remove the dam on the lower Eklutna River couldn’t succeed on its own because upstream, utilities divert the river into a hydroelectric power plant. Officials say it will take years before they decide whether to add more water that could help restore salmon.

Longstanding tensions underlie Arctic Slope Regional Corporation’s withdrawal from AFN

Long before Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announced its withdrawal from the Alaska Federation of Natives last week, there were signs of a schism.

Yukon aims to sell renewable power to Skagway cruise ships

It could be a win-win. The Yukon territory could turn a profit on their surplus, cruise ships could green up their local image, and Skagway might enjoy better air quality near the port.
Boats in a sweeping bend in a river

Dunleavy issues mandates for fishery workers as concern from Bristol Bay officials escalates

Workers will have to wear masks when traveling to Bristol Bay and quarantine themselves for two weeks immediately on arrival.
A 32=foot gilnetter sails in blue waters next to green spruce-covered mountains.

Tribal members shouldn’t need state permits to fish in Metlakatla’s traditional waters, lawsuit argues

Attorneys for Metlakatla point to a Supreme Court case from 1918 that says the reservation included deep waters around the islands.
A white and grey seal on the ice

Study links Alaska seals’ waning health to warming Arctic

A new study has found evidence connecting the rapid warming of the region with a physical decline in three species of Alaska seals.

NASA keeps watch of shrinking Arctic ice

The future of monitoring Arctic ice begins in space. Listen now

Stranded seal gets first-class rescue in Unalaska

Most of the time, a seal in Unalaska doesn’t attract too much attention, but a ringed seal is a different story. The marine mammals live near ice and typically are found further north. When a sick ringed seal appeared and then vanished last week, the community united to find it. Listen now

BlueCrest is latest company to stop work, citing state’s defunct cash-for-credits scheme

BlueCrest is the latest to fall victim to the now-defunct cashable credit program. It announced on August 1 that it couldn’t afford to keep drilling on the Kenai Peninsula and that it would be laying off about 150 people. Listen now

Is Alaska’s climate risk, a credit risk?

State investment officer says the areas most affected by climate change don't affect the state's ability to pay its bills. Listen now