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NEB's History

The Nebraska Ethanol Board has been a key contributor to the creation, maintenance, and facilitation of the expansion of ethanol production throughout its more than 50 years of operation.


In the late 1970s — in response to oil embargoes that resulted in high gas prices and inflation —leaders in agriculture, economic development and government saw the opportunity for Nebraska to capitalize on its abundant grain resources and begin development of a renewable, domestic source of energy — ethanol.

Former State Senator Loran Schmit established the Nebraska Gasohol Committee — now the Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB) — by introducing LB776 in the 82nd Legislature in 1971. This pivotal move essentially marked the commencement of the State's effort to develop its ethanol industry. Still today, Nebraska is the only state in the U.S. with a government agency devoted solely to the development and support of its ethanol industry.


The Nebraska Legislature expanded the Nebraska ethanol development program’s scope in the late 1970s and 1980s to capitalize on projected expansion in the ethanol industry. Nebraska’s first biorefinery opened in Hastings in 1985. 


In 1990, the Legislature created an incentive fund designed to attract increased ethanol production in the state. This fund, the result of a checkoff on Nebraska corn, sorghum and wheat, was administered by the Ethanol Authority & Development Board (EADB). The incentive did its job, attracting significant ethanol development across the state. The EADB was administered by Nebraska Gasohol Committee staff.

In 1992, the Ethanol Authority & Development Board was merged with the original Nebraska Gasohol Committee to create the Nebraska Ethanol Board.


There are 24 biorefineries statewide capable of producing 2.3 billion gallons of ethanol, 9.5 million tons of distillers grains, and 335 thousand tons of corn oil. Nebraska is ranked No. 2 in ethanol production volume nationally and brings an annual positive economic impact of more than 4.5 billion dollars to the state.