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Ethanol Backers Enlist ‘Bachelor’ Star to Push Fuels Mandate

The Hill

November 23, 2015

By Devin Henry

Corn growers have a new pitchman in their campaign to protect the federal ethanol mandate: the “Bachelor.”

Chris Soules, the former star of “The Bachelor” and a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars,” plugs the economic and environmental benefits of ethanol fuel in a new ad campaign a week before regulators are due to finalize new fuel ethanol standards.

“I’ve been able to see first-hand the benefits of renewable fuels,” Soules, a native Iowan, says in the ad. 

He adds that he’s seen the “effect on my family’s enterprise and I’ve seen it affect other families who haven’t even been involved in farming, by providing jobs and cleaner energy and to help us the country diversify our energy resources."

Soules, a fourth-generation farmer, proposed to "The Bachelor" winner Whitney Bischoff at his farm during the season finale earlier this year. 

The ad in which he appears, for Growth Energy, is meant to rebuff arguments from oil groups and those opposed the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) who have been running ads around the country questing the RFS’s impact on the environment. 

The ad is running in Iowa, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana, all big corn-producing states. Anti-RFS groups have hit the airwaves in some of those states and others with their message against the mandate.

“This ad is more about the positive benefits of ethanol and not just the policy debate, like we’ve run before and currently are running in Washington,” said Tom Buis, the co-chairman of Growth Energy. 

Federal regulators have a Nov. 30 deadline for finalizing three years of ethanol-blending requirements for gasoline. Both sides have looked to influence public opinion and policymakers on the ethanol mandate in the lead-up to the announcement, and ethanol backers are now deploying Soules to take on those opposed to the mandate.  

“He is a fourth-generation farmer, and that is the real stardom, in my opinion,” Buis said. 

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