As I mentioned at the beginning of May there is an oversupply issue with ethanol. Ethanol in the US is alcohol produced mostly from corn. US government mandated minimum ethanol volumes exceed what auto makers say most of their cars can handle. Typically cars can handle 10% ethanol blended with 90% petroleum-based gasoline without any special equipment.
The New York Times is reporting today that the US EPA may raise the US ethanol blend wall from 10% of gasoline to as high as 15% or 20% within the next week. Although such a change would be good for ethanol producers, this additional ethanol would displace petroleum-based gasoline and pressure oil refinery margins lower.
Update: On Tuesday December 1, 2009 the EPA announced it would defer making a decision on changing the US ethanol blend limit until mid-June 2010.