Renewable Fuels Month

Renewable Fuels Month

Nebraskans have the choice of what type of fuel they put in their vehicle when they fill up. While your fuel selection may not seem like a big deal, it can have a huge impact on our environment and the air we breathe.

That's why increasing the use of clean burning renewable fuels such as American Ethanol and biodiesel is the focus of a growing coalition of organizations working to improve air quality in the eight-county Omaha metro area, which includes counties in neighboring Iowa.

Clean Fuels Omaha is a public/private coalition focused on the use of alternative fuels as a strategy to improve human health and the quality of the air we breathe.

Clean Fuels Omaha involves a wide range of participants including the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Soybean Board, Nebraska Ethanol Board, the Urban Air Initiative, Green Plains, Iowa Corn, SIRE, Douglas County Health Department, Omaha Public Power District, the Clean Fuels Development Coalition, the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) and other clean air and health-focused organizations and advocacy groups.

The use of renewable fuels such as American Ethanol and biodiesel are part of the "Little Steps, Big Impact" campaign led by MAPA. MAPA brings local government officials together to address mutual concerns in the areas of transportation, solid and hazardous waste, community and economic growth and development, air quality, energy, and data. It also works to promote and preserve the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens in the MAPA region. MAPA is promoting the use of American Ethanol and biodiesel through social media and its ozone awareness and education campaign.

So far, the Omaha metro area has been able to narrowly avoid what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls "nonattainment status." Nonattainment means that the area does not meet the national air quality standards for any component considered to be a pollutant. If Omaha were to slip into non-attainment status, the consequences would be severe. For example, there would be additional regulations for industry — and serious pollution reduction regulations would be put in place.

MAPA Executive Director Greg Youell said that his organization has incorporated consumer information on renewable fuels in its "Little Steps, Big Impact" campaign, which helps citizens learn how they can easily make a difference in the quality of life in their city. "The more we learn about the dangerous effects of vehicle exhaust on human health, the more we need to encourage the use of clean-burning fuels such as American Ethanol and biodiesel," Youell said.

Renewable biofuels have been driving innovation for years. When consumers make the choice to put a renewable fuel in their fuel tank, they are choosing to enhance their energy future and better the environment. With renewable fuels, that future can have positive, long-lasting impacts. Diversifying our fuel supply not only allows us to increase our national security by decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, but it also creates positive health and economic benefits at home.

For more information, visit the Clean Fuels Omaha Facebook page or visit littlestepsbigimpact.com.

INGREDIENTS

- 1 refrigerated pizza dough

- 1 lb lean ground beef

- 1 small onion, chopped

- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage

- 1 teaspoon garlic powder

- 1 teaspoon onion powder

- 1/2 teaspoon salt

- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

- 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

cream cheese "frosting" ingredients

- 1/4 cup softened reduced-fat cream cheese

- 1 tablespoon milk

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine raw ground beef, onion, sage, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and crushed red pepper in large bowl. Cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until done. Set aside 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is cooled completely, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese.

2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll out pizza dough on flat surface; pat or roll dough evenly to 14 x 10-inch rectangle, pinching together any tears, if necessary. Spread beef mixture on dough, leaving 1/2 inch border on short side furthest from you. Starting at closest short end, roll up jelly-roll style, pinching to close. Slice dough into 8 pieces using serrated knife and careful sawing motion; place cut-side-up on greased baking sheet.

3. Bake in 425°F oven 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove buns to cooling rack.

4. Top with Cream Cheese "Frosting:" Combine 1/4 cup softened reduced-fat cream cheese and 1 tablespoon milk in small bowl, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over warmed beef buns.

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