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Yereth Rosen

Coming soon to the U.S. Capitol is a new group of lawmakers: the Senate Arctic Caucus.

As of Tuesday, the group was just a nucleus of two -- Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Maine Sen. Angus King , an independent who is part of the Senate’s Democratic minority.

But this week, Murkowski said, she and King are formally inviting other senators to join...

Yereth Rosen

A fresh new five-year plan for oil and gas leasing in the nation’s outer continental shelf features what federal officials hope will be a less controversial approach to oil exploration in Arctic waters, the Alaska director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Monday.

That means future lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, icy and remote frontiers that hold great oil potential but also important ecological resources, could span smaller areas than those in the past, said James Kendall, Alaska region director of the Interior Department agency that manages oil and gas development in federal waters...

Yereth Rosen

Cleanup work is scheduled to start this week on six of the legacy oil wells that were drilled and abandoned decades ago on federal land in Arctic Alaska but not properly secured before they were abandoned, the Bureau of Land Management said on Monday.

The wells are among 136 drilled between 1944 and 1982 in the vast land unit now known as the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska . The wells, intended to search for oil and gas and gather information about geologic conditions in general, were drilled by the U.S. Navy and other federal agencies...

Yereth Rosen

Ancient cod bones unearthed at an Alaska archaeological site carry a very modern warning for a world with a rapidly changing climate -- as sea levels rise, so do levels of mercury in the food chain.

The bones, discovered at a coastal site in Katmai National Park and Preserve, date back to the early and mid-Holocene, a time when a warming climate melted glaciers and expanded the oceans. The rising seas inundating the Bering Land Bridge and other stretches of terrain caused some of the naturally occurring mercury that was locked in dry or frozen land to get free and disperse in the expanded marine waters...

Yereth Rosen

A German shipping company pleaded guilty on Friday to two criminal counts concerning dumping oily waste last year in U.S. waters south of the Aleutian Islands.

The guilty pleas, part of a settlement agreement filed in federal court this month, were entered by attorney Michael Chalos on behalf of AML Ship Management GMBH at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.

The company operates the ship City of Tokyo, which was transporting vehicles from Asia to the West Coast last year when the violations occurred, according to court documents...

Yereth Rosen

With oil leasing now planned for waters off the East Coast, Alaska has new allies in its long-running campaign to claim a share of revenues from future oil production in federal offshore territory, Gov. Bill Walker said Tuesday, fresh from a trip to Washington, D.C.

Like Alaska, the East Coast states adjacent to federal waters where leasing is now planned would get none of the royalty and tax revenue from oil produced there, Walker pointed out at a news conference upon returning from the National Governors Association winter meeting. And like Alaska, the East Coast states have political leaders who would like to expand revenue sharing to include them, he said...

Yereth Rosen

The U.S. Geological Survey has released new maps identifying areas of northern and central Alaska with potential for deposits of rare-earth elements that are becoming commercially valuable because of their use in high-tech products.

The maps were produced at the request of the Bureau of Land Management, which is drafting a regional management plan for an hourglass-shaped, 59-million-acre section of land known as the Central Yukon Planning Area ...

Yereth Rosen

More than two years after Shell’s Kulluk drill rig grounded in the Gulf of Alaska , a disaster that capped a troubled drill season, the U.S. Interior Department has issued new Arctic-specific standards for all companies seeking to extract oil from the icy Chukchi and Beaufort seas...

Yereth Rosen

When black-capped chickadees and some other birds in the Anchorage area began turning up in the late 1990s with elongated, weirdly curved or twisted beaks , biologists and bird lovers began to worry.

The deformities range from slight to gross and can have severe consequences for the birds if they are unable to use their beaks to pick up food or groom feathers so their bodies retain heat...

Yereth Rosen

Behavior that makes some Anchorage moose safer might be having an unfortunate side effect -- less variety in their sex lives, potentially.

A newly published study shows that moose separated by the Glenn Highway -- a busy, partially fenced traffic corridor leading north out of Alaska’s largest city -- are starting to show subtle differences in their genes.

The study, using data gathered from 2009 to 2012, evaluated movements of radio-collared female moose in the habitat that is bisected by the highway. It also used genetic data gleaned from ear plugs and blood from the collared moose and tissue samples from 15 moose killed by hunters in the area...

Yereth Rosen

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