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Shell Suspends Alaska Arctic Drilling in 2013
Anchorage Daily News
Feb 27, 2013
An effort to give the United States a new source of domestic oil and refill the trans-Alaska pipeline took a hit Wednesday when Royal Dutch Shell PLC announced it will suspend offshore petroleum drilling in the Arctic Ocean for 2013.

How Wood Smoke is Dirtying Alaska's Air
Feb 22, 2013
In Fairbanks, Alaska, residents are using wood stoves to heat their homes during the frigid winter months. But, smoke created by these wood burners is contributing to some of the worst air pollution in the country. Cathy Cahill discusses air quality in the Last Frontier.

North Pole Residents Get Update on Tainted Groundwater, Stricter Cleanup Standard
Feb 21, 2013
State health and environmental officials gave North Pole residents a progress report Wednesday night on their ongoing efforts to monitor the spread in area groundwater of an industrial solvent that leaked from the oil refinery in town about 25 years ago. They talked about how far the sulfolane has spread, and why they’ve set a stricter standard for cleaning it up.

Employee Claims Safety A Long Time Issue At Local Power Plant
Feb 01, 2013
A worker was seriously injured at a Fairbanks power plant earlier this week. The man suffered a broken arm and wrist when he became entangled in a conveyor at the coal fired facility. Now another employee has come public about safety issues at the Usibelli owned Aurora Energy Plant.

Shell calls off plans for deep offshore drilling in Arctic this year
Anchorage Daily News
Sep 17, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Shell is giving up for the year on drilling for oil in Arctic waters off Alaska after another setback to its troubled oil spill containment barge. The company announced the decision Monday after testing of the Arctic Challenger, the oil spill containment barge the company has been unable to get ready and certified to support its Arctic Alaska exploration. Shell said that, while it will abandon its effort to drill into oil-bearing zones this year, it will drill "top holes" to get ready for next year. "During a final test, the containment dome aboard the Arctic Challenger barge was damaged. It is clear that some days will be required to repair and fully assess dome readiness," the company said in a written statement. Shell was already fast running out of time for this drilling season. The failure to launch the effort as planned this year is a blow to the company, but it pledged to finish as much preliminary work as it can in order to "lay a strong foundation for operations in 2013."

Plan to put Clear Air Force Station on electric grid prompts questions
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Sep 16, 2012
Clear, located about 80 miles southwest of Fairbanks off the Parks Highway, is developing plans to build a 3-mile-long high-voltage transmission line to connect to the Golden Valley Electric Association power network. If the plans proceed as Air Force officials hope, Clear could become a member of the utility co-op by 2014. The driving force behind the move is energy savings, since Clear’s power plant dates back to the days when radar technology used far more power. Air Force Real Property Agency spokesman Armando Perez stated in an email that the existing power plant produces far more than the installation uses. The power plant at Clear includes three 7.5-megawatt turbines, each of which makes more power than the station needs to operate. To ensure back-up systems are in place, Clear is forced to run two turbines at all times, Perez said. The surplus energy is wasted. Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Plan to put Clear Air Force Station on electric grid prompts questions

Humans and Nature: Can the Gulf Be Bridged?
New York Times Green Blog
Sep 13, 2012
Basking in a surprise dose of early morning sun, we sat together on a bench made from yellow-cedar at the Gustavus Forelands Preserve, a landscape of spruce and cottonwood forests and beaches overlooking the Icy Strait waters. We were staring at a diagram on a piece of paper I had handed to Hank Lentfer, a lifelong Alaskan and longtime resident of the tiny town of Gustavus. The image before us was a series of circles in pairs, overlapping at varying degrees from just barely touching to completely merged. In each set, one circle was labeled “Nature” and the other “Self.” After an hour or so of questions about the dying yellow-cedar forests I am studying, I asked Hank to tell me how he viewed his relationship with nature. Researchers studying the links between environmental knowledge, attitudes and behaviors have found that individuals’ level of concern about the environment depends on the extent to which they perceive a connection between themselves and other people, or themselves and nature.

Shell begins drilling in Chukchi Sea
Anchorage Daily News
Sep 10, 2012
After a day of slower-than-expected preparations in the Chukchi Sea, Shell Alaska officially began drilling into the seafloor above its Burger prospect at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, the company said. The action marks the first drilling offshore in the Alaska Arctic in two decades and is being closely watched by Alaskans and the oil industry -- and criticized by environmentalists. Read more here:

Drifting sea ice halts Shell's Arctic drilling
Anchorage Daily News
Sep 10, 2012
Ice stalls work one day after it began; critics say event illustrates dangers. Royal Dutch Shell halted drilling in the Chukchi Sea on Monday -- one day after it began -- because of sea ice moving toward the company's drill ship off Alaska. Environmental groups say the complication illustrates the dangers of working in the Arctic. The Wilderness Society said Shell, faced with a shortened drilling season, was trying to mark its space in the Arctic whether or not it was ready to drill.

Small fire sparked at UAF power plant
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Sep 07, 2012
FAIRBANKS — A fire fueled by coal dust burned briefly at the University of Alaska Fairbanks power plant Friday afternoon but was snuffed out before it could interrupt service on campus. The fire was reported by a power plant employee who noticed a burning smell near the coal-handling area at the plant. Smoldering soon was discovered inside a concrete wall, where it is believed coal dust had ignited, UAF spokeswoman Marmian Grimes said.


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