Jay Butera is an advocate for clean energy and climate change solutions. As Senior Congressional Liaison for Citizens' Climate Lobby, Jay works to advance federal policy on energy and climate change issues. His work is non-partisan, non-profit, and funded entirely from personal finances.
In December 2016, Jay's work was profiled in the National Geographic Channel's Emmy-Winning documentary series "Years of Living Dangerously" (Season 2 Episode 7). In the episode, actor Bradley Whitford (of "West Wing" fame) vistis Capitol Hill, works with Citizens' Climate Lobby, and chronicles Jay's multi-year effort to bring Republicans and Democrats together to form the first ever bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As a public speaker, Jay is noted for his upbeat, solutions-oriented presentations on clean energy, climate change and citizen responsibility. He has been keynote speaker environmental and educational conferences and he has delivered his "We Can Do This" presentation to schools, colleges, and civic organizations throughout the United States.
Jay has published many articles on business, health, environment and other topics. His writings have appeared in newspapers and national magazines such as Fortune/Small Business, CNN/Money, Yankee Magazine, GQ, Travel Holiday, The Detroit Free Press, The Providence Journal, The San Francisco Examiner as well as in college-level textbooks on entrepreneurial business management.
Inventor & Entrepreneur
As an inventor and entrepreneur, Jay successfully built, managed and sold several businesses. He founded Cedar Fresh Home Products, a consumer products manufacturing firm which he started in a two-car garage and ultimately built to industrial scale with branded national distribution. Its products, many of which Jay invented and patented, were sold in over 10,000 retail outlets throughout the United States and abroad. His company's green products and environmental stewardship were publicly commended by Wal-Mart and other national retailers.
Jay is a graduate of The Haverford School and holds a B.A. degree from Brown University. At Brown, he studied science, maritime history, literature and writing. An enthusiastic sailor, he later studied celestial navigation and ultimately sailed from the United States to Bermuda using only traditional celestial navigation methods.
In 1979 Jay worked on ships involved in the salvage and containment of the runaway oil well blowout Ixtoc-1 offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Ixtoc-1 was an underwater oil gusher in the waters north of Yucatan, Mexico. It spewed 30,000 barrels of oil each day for almost nine months making it the second largest oil spill in history. At the site of the Ixtoc-1 disaster, Jay gained firsthand knowledge about the hazards of offshore drilling and he began formulating opinions about the world's dangerous reliance on fossil fuels.
"I watched that mess of crude oil gushing into the Gulf, out of control week after week. I saw the waters literally burning as oil and gas poured out. I felt the heat of those flames and watched the slick spread all the way to Texas. That experience changed me forever," he has said.