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News and resources regarding COVID-19

Safe Schools Flash Drive, Milk Dump Update and MidAmerican Energy Response to Sierra Club Study

Iowa Educators for a Safe Return to School

A show of support for teachers and school safety in the age of COVID-19 is planned for this weekend in Sioux City. SPM’s Sheila Brummer has more.

An activist group organized a flash drive event for Saturday, pushing for a safe return to learning this upcoming academic year.

“I want to get back to normal, I want to get back to school. I just want get back to school.  I just want to have everyone wear masks so we can do it.”

That’s Jeremy Dumkrieger, one of the organizers of the group “Iowa Educators for a Safe Return to School”.  He’s an art teacher from northwest Iowa.  The group has more than 21,500 members on Facebook.

“We just wanted to raise awareness again and keep it in the spotlight. So, people won’t forget it and think I need to buy new masks.”

Community members are encouraged to line up at North High School in Sioux City starting at 9:30, then at ten the caravan will make a loop through the city before stopping at the school administration building in downtown.

“Everyone is encouraged to decorate their cars in support of teachers their parents and to join us.”

More information about the flash drive event can be found on social media. Masks and social distancing will be required.

Environmental officials in Iowa are still investigating, after Hy-Vee admitted employees dumped 800 gallons of spoiled milk in a creek in the Des Moines area.

The milk spoiled after a power outage caused by Monday’s major wind storm.

DNR officials say minnows and small game fish have died in a span of a half-mile in the creek.   Hy-Vee released a statement saying the store employee who told workers to dump the milk in a storm drain made an uninformed decision.

MidAmerican Energy sent out a response to a new report by the Sierra Club, that found the company’s two coal plants near Sioux City lost $27.5 million for customers during the past five years.

In a statement MidAmerican Energy says their investment in wind energy over two decades demonstrates a commitment to providing increasing renewable energy. And, since 2003 harnessing wind energy cut its carbon intensity in half.  In May, the Iowa Utilities Board verified renewable sources supplied more than 61% of the energy delivered to customers last year.

Also, the company says it on track to become the first major utility in the U.S. to produce enough renewable, zero carbon energy for customers in Iowa and South Dakota. You can see the full statement on our website kwit.org.

Full Statement Released by MidAmerican Energy:

As MidAmerican Energy’s investment in wind energy over two decades demonstrates, we are committed to providing increasingly renewable energy to our customers. Since 2003, harnessing wind energy has enabled us to cut our carbon intensity in half, a trend that will continue as we add to our wind fleet. In May, the Iowa Utilities Board verified that renewable sources, mostly through wind energy, supplied 61.3% of the energy that we delivered to our Iowa customers in 2019. 

In the past 60 months, MidAmerican retired four of its nine coal units, including two at the George Neal Energy Center, and converted another to natural gas, a lower carbon dioxide energy source. Evaluating our energy mix to serve our customers reliably and affordably is a top priority for our company, and we continue to explore opportunities to add solar to our generation mix and deploy technologies like battery storage and geo-mechanical pumped storage to help bolster the availability of our renewable energy. We will continue to evaluate various technologies and adopt them when proven reliable and cost effective.

MidAmerican’s commitment to its customers will remain focused on delivering reliable and affordable energy that is increasingly renewable. We are on track to become the first major utility in the U.S. to produce enough renewable, zero carbon energy to meet our Iowa and South Dakota customers’ load on an annual basis. Coupled with rates that are the 12th lowest in the country, it is clear that MidAmerican is living up to its promises and will continue to do what’s right for our customers well into the future.

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