Economy & Environment

A musk ox grazes in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 2006. (Photo by Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Arctic greening won’t save the climate – here’s why

BY: - May 31, 2022

Satellite images show the Arctic has been getting greener as temperatures in the far northern region rise three times faster than the global average. Some theories suggest that this “Arctic greening” will help counteract climate change. The idea is that since plants take up carbon dioxide as they grow, rising temperatures will mean Arctic vegetation […]

Bill Ritter, former governor of Colorado and founder of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, promotes bipartisanship in his opening address on May 24 at the Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Nonpartisan solutions promoted for energy and climate problems, but not everyone is on board

BY: - May 31, 2022

Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, one of the main speakers at the Alaska Renewable Energy Conference and the founder of the Center for the New Energy Economy, pleads for nonpartisan consensus to achieve the energy transition needed to tackle climate change. "If we don’t think of this in a bipartisan way, if we think of how do we talk to other sides of the aisle about that, we’re not going to get there,” he said.

Fishing boats are gathered in the community of King Salmon in 2004. (Photo from the Alaska Division of Community and Regional Affairs)

Alaska Peninsula oil lease sale continues long streak without bids

BY: - May 30, 2022

For the eighth consecutive year, oil companies have passed up an opportunity to acquire oil exploration rights on state lands in the Alaska Peninsula. No bids were received in an annual lease sale held by the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas that offered 5 million acres on the peninsula, which extends from the southwestern […]

Waves lap on the Cook Inlet beach at Kenai on Aug. 14, 2018, with Redoubt Volcano looming over the opposite shore. The Cook Inlet region is teeming with renewable energy sources, including tidal and geothermal energy, experts say. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Cook Inlet basin energy future lies beyond fossil fuels, conference speakers say

BY: - May 27, 2022

The 1950s discovery of oil on the Kenai Peninsula is credited with helping secure Alaska’s statehood. By the 1960s, the Kenai Chamber of Commerce had adopted a catchy nickname for the city: “The Oil Capital of Alaska.” In 1969, Cook Inlet began supplying liquefied natural gas to Toyko-based utilities, making it the nation’s first source […]

announcement was made at the Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference in Anchorage. Curtis Thayer, executive director of the Alaska Energy Authority, is at the far left; Gov. Mike Dunleavy is at the far right. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Utilities in Alaska’s Railbelt announce $200 million transmission upgrade project

BY: - May 25, 2022

Utilities in Alaska’s most heavily populated core announced on Wednesday that they are investing more than $200 million to upgrade transmission lines, a program that officials said can help prepare for a shift to increased use of renewable energy. The utilities serve customers in a 700-mile grid that extends from Fairbanks in the north to […]

A map showing the course of the proposed road

State-owned Alaska corporation advances plans for road through the Mat-Su

BY: - May 25, 2022

The state-owned Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority has requested permission from the federal government to build a 100-mile road into the mountainous western Matanuska-Susitna Borough. On Tuesday, AIDEA officials said by email that they had filed a permit request under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. […]

An anti-Pebble sticker is displayed in 2010 on a pole at the harbor in Cordova, Alaska. The fight over the proposed mine, which would be located upstream of salmon-rich Bristol Bay, has been waged since the early 2000s. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

EPA moves to prevent Pebble mine development in Bristol Bay watershed

BY: - May 25, 2022

The Biden administration has officially revived an Obama-era plan that would put the Bristol Bay watershed off-limits to the proposed Pebble Mine or any similar project. The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced its intention to invoke a rarely used provision of the Clean Water Act to prevent the issuance of any wetlands-fill permit for […]

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, at a May 24 ceremony held at the Alaska Sustatinable Energy Conference, holds up a bill he just signed to encourage development of nuclear microreactors. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Governor signs bill intended to encourage nuclear microreactors in Alaska

BY: - May 25, 2022

Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Tuesday signed a bill aimed at easing the construction of small nuclear reactors, using a signing ceremony on the first day of the Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference to highlight what he characterized as a promising technology to power remote parts of the state. Microreactors are compact nuclear reactors that can generate […]

(Photo by Phil Roeder/Getty Images)

Fast-food worker’s wage lawsuit survives in U.S. Supreme Court

BY: - May 25, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a small, but potentially significant, victory to a fast-food worker from Iowa. The court did not address the basic premise of Robyn Morgan’s lawsuit – that the Taco Bell restaurant she worked for had violated wage-and-hour laws. The court did, however, address a procedural issue that could have […]

Container ships are lined up at the Port of Alaska in Anchorage on Oct. 11, 2020. The port and Sandia National Laboratories are teaming up to evaluate Cook Inlet renewable energy resources to potentially fuel a planned microgrid. (Photo by Erik Hill/Port of Alaska)

With new agreement, Port of Alaska and Sandia lab to evaluate renewable energy for microgrid

BY: - May 24, 2022

A partnership between the state’s biggest port and one of the nation’s top engineering labs seeks to establish a large microgrid to ensure a dependable supply of electricity. The Port of Alaska, located in Anchorage, and Sandia National Laboratories, a major U.S. Department of Energy contractor, have signed a “historic” memorandum of understanding to move […]

Tobias Schwoerer pulls invasive elodea from lake water while kneeling on the pontoon of a floatplane. The photo was taken at Alexander Lake, a site in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough that became overgrown with the invasive plant. (Photo by Kristin Dunker/Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

Bill to combat Alaska’s invasive species falls short in Legislature

BY: - May 24, 2022

Invasive species, according to wide consensus in Alaska, pose big threats to native fish, plants, terrestrial animals and even people’s safety and thus merit some vigorous preventive and response actions. Nevertheless, a seemingly popular bill that would have set up a system to coordinate those actions died without final passage in the Alaska Legislature. The […]

The ConocoPhillips Alaska headquarters, seen here on April 8, 2020, looms over downtown Anchorage. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

ConocoPhillips starts production at new Alpine satellite field

BY: - May 21, 2022

ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. announced Friday that it has started oil production at its Fiord West Kuparuk reservoir, a satellite of its Alpine field. The start of oil flow followed the drilling of a well that ConocoPhillips said set an extended-reach record. The well was drilled about a month ago by Doyon 26, the largest mobile […]