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The Shell contractor that broke environmental and maritime safety laws during the oil giant’s troubled 2012 drilling season in Alaska was sentenced on Friday, Dec. 19, to pay $12.2 million in fines and community payments, serve four years’ probation and undergo a company-wide environmental compliance program that will be subjected to the scrutiny of third-party experts.

Erik Hill
The state-backed plan for a 200-mile road to a mining prospect in northern Alaska sparked intense debate among dozens of tribal and village leaders who questioned the potential impact on their way of life. Dermot Cole
In 2010, President Obama temporarily withdrew offshore waters in the northern Aleutians and Bristol Bay from consideration for oil drilling, but that protection had been set to expire in 2017. Now it’s extended with no end date.Lisa Demer
Drilling mud, brine and diesel fuel spilled Monday onto a gravel pad and into a pit no longer used at the Kuparuk oil field, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.Lisa Demer
A Big State Logistics truck went off the Dalton Highway north of Wiseman Sunday night and spilled about 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said.Alaska Dispatch News

Giant slabs of ice, dangerous areas of open water and little snow along the Kuskokwim River are challenging winter travelers as well as organizers of a big mid-distance sled dog race -- the Kuskokwim 300.

Lisa Demer
NANA Oilfield Services has agreed to pay a fine after violating rules designed to prevent a spill at a fuel storage facility in Deadhorse on Alaska's North Slope.Alex DeMarban
A federal judge says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must stop all work related to a process that could result in development of the Pebble Mine being restricted or prohibited.Associated Press

Leisnoi Inc. sees a timber harvesting operation near Chiniak as a path to financial stability. But nearby homeowners say they're tired of the noise and the unsightly clear-cut land, and they're concerned it will lead to more logging in the area.

Sean Doogan
The agency wants to add rules that would require U.S. oil and gas companies to report emissions from well completions and hydraulic fracturing, among other activities and facilities.Alan Bailey