Economy & Environment

Alaska launched a program this month to provide financial aid to livestock farmers affected by rising prices for feed. (Photo provided by Ben Adams)

State aims $1 million at livestock farmers hit by rising cost of feed, but some see unmet need

BY: - December 7, 2022

The cost of animal feed has risen this year and the weather in Alaska has reduced its availability, which has prompted livestock farmers to ask the state government for help. And while the state government has launched a financial aid program this month, some farmers say the program won’t impact the people who need it […]

ConocoPhillips’ building is seen in downtown Anchorage. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz)

ConocoPhillips loses bid to limit competitor’s access to Alaska’s next big oil project

BY: - December 6, 2022

Oil company Santos scored a victory last week over competitor ConocoPhillips in a long-running dispute over roads needed to access Alaska’s next big petroleum development. For the past year, the companies have feuded over the rights of Australia-based Santos to cross roads that connect its new Pikka project to the North Slope oil hub of […]

COMMENTARY

It’s an honor to lead Alaska’s largest renewable resource, the Alaska Permanent Fund

BY: - December 5, 2022

This October, I was provided the opportunity to serve as the executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation. As a lifelong Alaskan, leading APFC is my childhood dream come true. From meeting with Gov. Hammond with my third-grade class in 1976, to receiving the benefits of the fund’s existence throughout my life, to now […]

CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried testifies during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee at Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill Dec. 8, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Despite FTX fallout, some U.S. House members still skeptical about crypto regulation

BY: - December 3, 2022

Nearly nine months after a bipartisan group of U.S. House members sent a letter questioning the Securities and Exchange Commission’s investigation into cryptocurrencies, including the failed FTX exchange, the lawmakers are maintaining their position that the agency’s approach to regulating crypto is deeply flawed. In public comments since FTX’s collapse last month, the congressmen, led […]

Children walk to school on a boardwalk in the village of Newtok in 2012. Residents have been moving in phases from the old site, which is undermined by erosion, flooding and permafrost thaw, to a new and safer village site called Mertarvik. (Photo provided by the Alaska Division of Community and Regional Affairs)

Villages chosen for relocation grants singled out for climate-change threats — and progress

BY: - December 2, 2022

Grants awarded to tribal governments in Alaska and the Lower 48 are only a start in what is expected to be a long process of funding relocation of Indigenous communities that are threatened by climate change, a top Interior Department official said Thursday. Interior on Wednesday announced that tribal governments in the Yup’ik villages of […]

Alaska’s congressional delegation splits on vote to block railroad workers’ strike

BY: - December 1, 2022

The U.S. Senate voted 80-15 on Thursday to approve a resolution that prevents workers in 12 Lower 48 railroad unions from going on strike. The measure, which passed the House earlier this week, now goes to President Joe Biden, who urged Congress to pass the measure. Alaska’s three-person congressional delegation split on the proposal. Sen. […]

The Ribdon River is in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz)

Biden administration delays release of new Arctic Refuge drilling environmental review

BY: - December 1, 2022

The Biden administration has delayed by several months the release of a new environmental review of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The review, known as a “draft supplemental environmental impact statement,” was originally set for release by the end of November. All oil development work in the refuge is effectively stalled until […]

Fishing boats line the dock in Kodiak's St. Paul Harbor on Oct. 3. One recommendation being considered by the Alaska Bycatch Review Task Force is a conversion to a quota-share "rationalization" system for Gulf of Alaska trawlers to encourage more careful harvesting. But the idea has been controversial in Kodiak and other Gulf of Alaska towns. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

North Pacific Seafoods pays EPA to settle alleged Clean Air Act violations from illegal incinerators

BY: - November 30, 2022

One of Alaska’s most prominent seafood companies will pay $345,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency after illegally operating three incinerators in Naknek. The EPA announced a settlement agreement with North Pacific Seafoods on Tuesday. Alice Corcoran, a public relations officer for the EPA, characterized the settlement as “on the bigger side of big” for the […]

In an aerial view, freight rail cars sit in a rail yard near shipping containers on Nov. 22, 2022, in Wilmington, California. A national rail strike could occur as soon as Dec. 5 after the nation’s largest freight rail union, SMART Transportation Division, voted to reject the Biden administration’s contract deal. About 30% of the nation’s freight is moved by rail with the Association of American Railroads estimating that a nationwide shutdown could cause $2 billion a day in economic losses. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

U.S. House votes to avert calamitous rail strike, but Senate prospects murky

BY: - November 30, 2022

The U.S. House moved Wednesday to avoid an economically disastrous nationwide rail strike, voting to codify an agreement that members of some unions had already rejected and separately add paid sick leave that workers had demanded. The two-track approach allows Democrats to avert a strike that could cost the U.S. economy up to $2 billion […]

A basket star is seen on the Alaska seafloor. If ocean warming continues on its current trajectory, marine life at the bottom of the Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea will look a lot different in coming decades, according to a new study. The seafloor environment will be too warm for the snails, worms, clams and mussels that make up diets of walruses and some seabirds and fish species. But basket stars like this one and related brittle stars -- species that do not currently play much of a role in the food web -- are expected to thrive in the warmer temperatures. (Photo provided by NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center)

The bottom of the Bering and Chukchi seas could become too warm for some important species

BY: - November 30, 2022

There is danger lurking on the floor of the Bering and Chukchi seas for mussels, snails, clams, worms and other cold-water invertebrates, according to a new study led by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists. If climate change continues its current trajectory, the Bering and Chukchi seafloor areas will be too warm for those creatures […]

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, at a U.S. Senate hearing on the proposed merger of grocery chains Kroger and Albertsons. Nov. 29, 2022. (Photo by Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

Albertsons-Kroger mega-deal raises questions from lawmakers about higher food prices

BY: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON —  Members of a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee panel raised concerns during a Tuesday hearing that a proposed merger between two of the largest U.S. supermarket chains could mean a monopoly on groceries and lead to higher food prices for Americans. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who chairs the Subcommittee on Competition […]

The Port of Alaska is seen from the air on Aug. 11, 2022. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska would be insulated from a nationwide railroad strike, officials say

BY: - November 29, 2022

If a nationwide rail strike takes place this month, the Alaska Railroad will keep moving, but tieups in the Lower 48 could disrupt cargo that comes to Alaska from Seattle and Tacoma, officials said this week. Several unions are planning a strike that could begin as soon as Dec. 9 after the failure of contract […]