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.

Runaway melt: Alaska permafrost is thawing even in winter

When you think of carbon emissions, you probably think of the exhaust that comes from your car. But it comes from the ground, too. Listen now

Ask a Climatologist: The mind boggling rain of tropical storm Harvey

If you took all that water that has just fallen on Harris County and you put it right over the urban part of Anchorage it would be about 60 or 70 feet deep. It's an extraordinary amount of water that's fallen. Listen now

Ask a Climatologist: Jet stream pattern keeps Alaska warm, Lower 48 cold

Alaska is likely to stay warm this month, while much of the Lower 48 experiences a cold snap. The culprit is a feature of the jet stream called a Rossby wave. Listen now

Archaeology in northern Alaska: a race against the clock

"If you see a library burning, you should at least try and get the rare books out," said archaeologist Anne Jensen. Listen now

How can the U.S. Forest Service keep up with Alaska’s tourism boom?

As tourism increases and federal budgets shrink, a permitting backlog at the U.S. Forest Service has been growing. Listen now

The Big Thaw: Fishermen in Kodiak cope with record low cod numbers

The cod population in the Gulf of Alaska is at its lowest level on record. The culprit is a warm water mass called "the blob" that churned in the Pacific Ocean between 2013 and 2017. Listen now

As administration pursues ANWR drilling, Trump official accuses federal employees of creating ‘road bumps’

In an interview last month, Balash describee what he called a “really difficult management challenge” with Fish and Wildlife Service employees. He said during a recent meeting with the agency in Alaska, he felt employees weren’t eager to carry out the new law. Listen now

Trump administration moves to open environmentally sensitive National Petroleum Reserve land to oil drilling

The Interior department on Tuesday announced it is beginning the environmental review process to re-do the management plan for NPR-A, which is west of Prudhoe Bay.

Alaska gasline project board ousts its $1 million man

The state’s highest paid employee was fired from $45 billion gas line project today.

Findings released regarding governor’s bid to fire head of state oil and gas watchdog agency

The report supports some, but not all, of the governor's charges against the chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Hollis French. French believes the report exonerates him from what he calls "the most serious charges."

Southeast Alaska researchers get rare opportunity to study a sperm whale

The species has been spotted in the Inside Passage before. But sightings are infrequent. A whale found recently near Juneau is thought to have died from a vessel strike.

Climate change looks different in Southeast Alaska. Here’s how tribes are planning for that.

The Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska has a climate change adaptation plan. It wants the region to be included in the climate change discussion.

Could climate change research in Alaska be put on ice?

The University of Alaska system is known as a leader in climate change research, studying melting permafrost to shrinking glaciers. But there’s growing uncertainty about the future of such projects with steep cuts to state funding.

Increase in observer fees has people in the fishing industry questioning how their dollars are being spent

Observer fees are going up for Alaska fishermen and processors. In Kodiak, fishermen aren’t too worried about the modest increase, but some would like to see improvements made to the decades-old program.
A photograph of homes and a big blue sky.

Federal judge rejects North Slope tribe’s challenge to Conoco drilling program

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason dismissed a legal challenge Thursday that a North Slope tribal government had brought against President Donald Trump's administration's approval of oil drilling and other industrial activity nearby.

Native groups object to prison sentence of Kaktovik man who shot and wasted polar bear

After a Kaktovik man was found guilty of killing and wasting a polar bear in a small North Slope village, several prominent Alaska Native organizations are calling the sentence “inappropriate.”
A large cruise ship with a white cabin and a blue hull

What’s the air quality like in Southeast Alaska without cruise ships? Scientists hope to find out this summer

Scientists don't have any baseline data to determine the effects cruise ships have on air quality. With the cancellation of cruise ships in Southeast Alaska this year, scientists will finally be able to get that information.
A white woman in a blue best poses next to a light blue boat with teh name "Axel"

In a down market, Alaska fishermen avert disaster by feeding families in need

A seafood donation program started by a Sitka organization is helping bring some stability to fishermen and consumers during an uncertain time.
A man flips through a book in the cabin of a boat

Pacific heatwave had lasting impacts on Gulf of Alaska marine species

NOAA’s study charted the impacts of the heat wave — also known as “the blob” — on gulf marine species over time, through 2019 and found some species like sockeye salmon and Pacific cod had lower populations for years.

House approves TransCanada buyout

With a unanimous vote in the House on Wednesday, the Alaska legislature has approved Gov. Bill Walker’s request to end the state’s partnership with TransCanada -- and take a larger role in the project to build a natural gas line from the North Slope. Download Audio