JUNEAU, Alaska: Conservationists swoon at the possibility of it all. Here in Alaska, where melting arctic ice and eroding coastlines have made global warming an urgent threat, this little city has cut its electricity use by more than 30 percent in a matter of weeks, instantly establishing itself as a role model for how to go green, and fast.

Alaska is seeking bids to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of the state's oil and gas infrastructure to prevent a repeat of the corrosion and spills suffered in recent years at the Prudhoe Bay oilfield, the largest in the US. The engineering analysis, for which bids are due by April 28, is being conducted on the instructions of Governor Sarah Palin. She ordered the audit - to take two years and cost $5m - after the biggest spill at the BP-operated Prudhoe Bay in 2006 revealed corrosion in the pipelines and forced the closure of half the oilfield.

IT IS a short drive from the village of Newhalen, on the shore of Lake Iliamna in south-western Alaska, to Nondalton, about 15 miles (24km) away. At least, it would be short if there was a road. Instead, supplies to the settlement have to be flown in or ferried upriver. Like much of the state, this area

mosquito repellent: A bird found in Alaska is believed to emit a natural mosquito repellent, according to Hector Douglas, a researcher at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The crested auklet

Global warming could weaken the ice-soil mixture called permafrost in areas surrounding the Arctic Circle, causing damage to buildings, pipelines and electricity generating stations, according to a

Polluting natural gas projects are apparently not the only threat to Alaska's environment. On June 29, 2005, the us Environmental Protection Agency (epa) gave a final go ahead to a large gold

overriding powers: The US Supreme Court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will now have the authority to overrule state government decisions on what would be the