SACRAMENTO (AP) ¿ A Sacramento company that once was among the fastest-growing ethanol producers in the country says it could run out of cash within a month.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday that it may not be able to continue past April 30 without renegotiating its debts or finding new sources of cash.

The company said filing for bankruptcy protection is a possibility.

The company also revealed that it borrowed $2 million from its chairman, former California Secretary of State Bill Jones, and president and chief executive Neil Koehler.

After a period of rapid growth in which it built plants in three states, Pacific Ethanol now is in default on $250 million in loans.

Rising prices for corn have squeezed the margins for many ethanol companies.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.