Economy & Environment

This slide presented to the Alaska House Finance Committee on Thursday, March 16, 2023, shows a satellite view of the Mustang Road. The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority is planning to give the road to the state as part of its annual state-mandated dividend. (Alaska Legislature screenshot)

After being bailed out by Alaska’s state government, North Slope oil field is eyed for sale

BY: - September 30, 2023

Alaska’s state-owned development bank is planning to sell a troubled North Slope oil field development that previously received a state bailout loan. At a regularly scheduled meeting Sept. 21, the board of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority agreed to open final negotiations for the sale of Mustang Holdings LLC to the subsidiary of […]

This oil and gas offshore infrastructure is located in Cook Inlet. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz/Northern Journal)

As oil companies show little interest, feds cancel plans for drilling off Alaska shores

BY: - September 29, 2023

There will be no new offshore oil and gas sales in federal waters near Alaska anytime soon. In a plan released Friday, the Department of Interior said it will hold just three oil and gas lease sales in American federal waters between 2024 and 2029. All three will take place in the Gulf of Mexico. […]

Two killer whales are seen breaching in Alaska waters on June 9, 2005. (Photo by David Ellifrit/NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center)

Killer whale deaths in Alaska trawl harvests prompt investigations and spark anger

BY: - September 29, 2023

An unusually high number of whales have died in trawl fishing gear in Alaska waters, spurring a federal investigation and new criticism of the industry that uses big nets to scoop fish from the bottom of the ocean. Ten killer whales, also known as orcas, were ensnared in trawl gear this year in the Bering […]

Alaska Permanent Fund leaders discuss whether to seek exemption from open-government law

BY: - September 28, 2023

The trustees of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. are considering whether to back legislation that could exempt the corporation from the state’s open meetings act and the state’s procurement rules, as well as conceal personnel records from public records requests. Trustees could also find themselves supporting a proposed constitutional amendment that restructures the spendable portion […]

Two Eastern North Pacific right whales are seen swimming in the Gulf of Alaska in August of 2021. They were among four right whales spotted just south of Kodiak Island during a survey by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scientists believe there are only about 30 animals in the population, and sightings are rare. (Photo provided by NOAA Fisheries)

Ultra-rare whales swimming in Alaska waters could get bigger areas of protection

BY: - September 28, 2023

Some of the world’s rarest whales could get enhanced protection under a plan announced by federal regulators on Tuesday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service said it will reevaluate the habitat designated as critical for the tiny population of right whales that swim in the waters off Alaska. The move is […]

Strips of salmon are seen hanging in a smokehouse on the Kuskokwim River on July 19, 2017. (Photo provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Alaska Federation of Natives sides with federal government in Kuskokwim salmon dispute

BY: - September 27, 2023

Alaska’s largest Native organization has sided with the federal government in its dispute with the state over salmon management in the Kuskokwim River, saying that the state’s position is attacking its interests and those of its members. The Alaska Federation of Natives on Tuesday filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit filed by the […]

Kristen Bigogno sits on a curb with her belongings and her pets after being evicted from her home Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in St. Louis. Bigogno is among thousands of Americans facing eviction now that the national moratorium has ended. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Amid rising evictions and rents, states grapple with protections in tenant-landlord laws

BY: - September 27, 2023

At 90 years old, Hilda Chavera has found a new purpose in life: tenant organizing. A Minneapolis resident for 50 years, Chavera said she has seen her city change, with many of her neighbors struggling to stay in their homes. “People can’t afford their rent. They are getting kicked out of their homes. They feel […]

Tracy Anthony, site lead for Depcom, an Entergy contractor, stands in front of a row of solar panels at Entergy Arkansas’ 100 megawatt solar and storage plant in Searcy, Arkansas. Anthony said renewable power, coupled with battery storage, will “play an important part in power generation in the near future.” (Photo by Robert Zullo/States Newsroom)

Battery storage seen as ‘backbone’ of reliable electric grid but adoption uneven across US

BY: - September 27, 2023

SEARCY, Ark. — In the decarbonized future envisioned by many states, utilities and the federal government, expect more power plants like Entergy Arkansas’ facility here, where thousands of gleaming panels and banks of batteries spread across 800 acres about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock. The Searcy Solar Energy Center, a 100-megawatt solar and storage […]

The traditional Iñupiaq village of Teller sits on a long spit of land separating two bodies of water off Western Alaska’s Seward Peninsula. The bay of Port Clarence is west toward the Bering Sea, and Grantley Harbor is inland to the east. (Photo by Berett Wilber for Northern Journal)

A new rush arrives on the Seward Peninsula: for graphite, not gold

BY: - September 27, 2023

SEWARD PENINSULA — Ducks and swans flew overhead as Sylvester Ayek, 82, and his daughter Kimberly, 35, hauled rocks to anchor their small salmon net on the bank of a deep, tidal channel — 25 miles inland from the open Bering Sea coast.  Nearby on that July day, MaryJane Litchard, Ayek’s partner, picked wild celery […]

A group of bison cross the road in Yellowstone National Park near the Madison River in April 2023. (Photo by Clark Corbin/Idaho Capital Sun)

How a looming government shutdown could hit national parks

BY: - September 26, 2023

National parks and nearby communities could forego millions of dollars per day during a partial government shutdown that could start this weekend. Would-be visitors will likely see restrictions on park access, though the extent of those restrictions was still unclear just days before a potential lapse in federal appropriations set to begin Sunday. Parks would […]

Alaska Permanent Fund improves after money-losing year but withdrawals still exceed earnings

BY: - September 26, 2023

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.’s investment earnings were again less than withdrawals in the 12 months ending in June, according to preliminary data scheduled to be released at the corporation’s annual meeting this week in Anchorage. The corporation, which manages the $74.9 billion Alaska Permanent Fund, earned a 5.18% return, less than its goal of […]

In new collaborations, tribes become stewards of parks and monuments

BY: - September 25, 2023

In a rural area of Michigan’s Thumb region, a small state park preserves a collection of sandstone carvings that date back many hundreds of years. One of the carvings, a figure with a bow and arrow, symbolizes ancestors shooting their knowledge ahead seven generations. Some might say that arrow landed in 2019. That year, descendants […]