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 wants to stop billing homeowners for tech support after spills

On average, getting technical support from employees in the state’s Division of Spill Prevention and Response can cost between $100-$150 an hour. Listen now

Walker seeks to deepen trade ties with China

In a press conference in Anchorage on Monday, March 5, Governor Walker detailed trade trip and other opportunities for partnership with China. Listen now
Gov. Bill Walker at a press conference in the Capitol, Oct. 23, 2015. He announced that he was dropping a proposed natural gas reserves tax from the special session agenda. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

With negotiations delayed, Administration proposes $7M cut to gas line budget

State officials have put a number on how much they will trim from next year’s budget for marketing liquefied natural gas from the proposed pipeline: $7 million. That’s the cut Governor Bill Walker’s administration will make to its budget request. It reduces the number of companies marketing gas to customers in Asia from three to one.
Alaska North Slope crude prices between Jan. 1, 2003 and Jan. 5, 2016. (Data from Alaska Department of Revenue/Graphic by Josh Edge/APRN)

North Slope crude hits 3rd-lowest mark since 2009

Crude prices continue to fall across the United States -- with Brent Crude Oil setting an 11-year low, dipping below $33 per barrel Thursday morning. Alaska North Slope crude is following a similar track, coming in at $34.82 per barrel on Jan. 5 - the most recently-reported price. Download Audio

Gov’s pipeline proposal raises eyebrows

After more than two years of working with the big three North Slope oil companies, state officials are proposing Alaska take a larger stake -- or complete control of the project. Download Audio

In Sitka, a teacher wants her classroom to know who’s responsible for climate change

Some school districts don’t elaborate on the causes of climate change, while others make it clear: Humans are largely to blame. This week, we’re going inside two Alaska classrooms to learn how teachers and students are navigating these difficult conversations.
A white and grey seal on the ice

State petitions federal government to delist Arctic ringed seals under Endangered Species Act

In the latest chapter of an ongoing debate over the status of Arctic ringed seals, the state of Alaska has petitioned the federal government to take them off the list of threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

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."

Invasive species haven’t made the Bering Sea their home… yet

The Bering Sea has kept invasives at bay for now, but warming waters look to make it a more welcoming environment in the future. Listen now

Arctic sea ice minimum continues downward trend, with implications beyond the Arctic

"The Arctic’s like an air conditioner or refrigerator for the global climate...And as the Arctic warms, partly because the sea ice is going away, it’s like you’re opening that refrigerator door." Listen now

Senate committee grills state over inaccurate oil production forecast

Alaska’s Department of Revenue faced criticism during a Senate Finance Committee meeting on Friday after it put out its spring forecast. It predicts an unprecedented 12 percent drop in oil production next year. Listen now

Candidate Dunleavy said he had no plans to cut ferries, schools, university. Then Gov. Dunleavy proposed deep reductions.

Dunleavy’s shifting positions on state spending and budget cuts have left critics fuming; they argue that the governor was able to make dubious claims on the campaign trail that were never debunked by a weakened mainstream media, and that that might have changed the election's outcome.

In Utqiaġvik, a growing erosion problem may soon outpace local efforts to slow it

"We know that the berm isn’t the long-term solution," Scott Evans with the North Slope Borough said. "But that’s what we have the ability to do right now. So that’s what we’re continuing to do because we know it’s slowing everything down." Listen now

After leaving Trump administration, Balash will work for oil company that’s developing an Alaska project

Joe Balash, the high-level Alaskan appointee at the U.S. Department of the Interior who pushed to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil leasing, is taking a job with an oil company seeking to develop a major project in Alaska.

One man’s quest to find Glacier Bay’s ecological Holy Grail

William S. Cooper left directions from over 100 years ago. But rediscovering the lost research plots in Glacier Bay required an epic adventure. Listen now

Oil industry prepares to fight to keep tax credits alive in 2017

When Governor Bill Walker released his state budget last week, the phrase “oil and gas tax credits” was notably absent from the announcement. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be a hot topic this year.Lawmakers in the new House majority coalition say the current oil and gas tax credit structure is unsustainable, and they're working on a bill to change it. Listen Now

Obama denies Newtok’s request for disaster declaration

President Barack Obama has turned down a request from the western Alaska village of Newtok for a disaster declaration. Listen now

Climate change hits Alaska’s rural water and sewer systems

For decades, Alaska has struggled to get running water and sewer systems to its rural communities. An estimated 3,000 households — or about 10,000 people — still lack both. Now, that job may be getting harder, as climate change exacerbates old problems and creates new ones. Listen now

Alaska’s LNG project looking for private contractor to help with federal permitting

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent a letter to the state, requesting that it pay for a third-party contractor to help with federal review of the project. Listen now
The Disney Wonder cruise ship docks near the ship loader at Skagway’s ore terminal. (Photo by Henry Leasia, KHNS - Haines)

Yukon mining industry sees opportunity in Port of Skagway

The industry wants to ensure that it has port access when ownership of the port returns to the city of Skagway from the White Pass and Yukon Railroad