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Climate and Energy Advocate
WildEarth Guardians is hiring a full-time Climate and Energy Advocate to advocate for safeguards of our climate through engagement with administrative agencies, the media, the public, and the courts, primarily focused in New Mexico, where there is need and opportunity to advance a just and equitable transition from fossil fuels. The Climate and Energy Advocate will develop strategies and tactics to expose the true cost of oil and gas extraction and leverage environmental and health liabilities to support and sustain action to end fracking and keep fossil fuels in the ground. Our campaign goals include:
- Ensuring a just and equitable transition that protects people and wildlife, not fossil fuel polluters;
- Ending federal fossil fuel leasing; phasing out oil and gas development activities; and
- Using the full power of the Clean Air Act to address greenhouse gas pollution economy-wide.
While being an attorney is not a requirement, the candidate will bring direct, hands-on experience and understanding around the law and legal engagement in the field of environmental advocacy. The Advocate will bring a willingness to be creative, to think outside the box, to take risks (within the bounds of law and ethics) and bring forward zealous advocacy for the climate and our natural world. The Advocate will collaborate closely with Guardians’ staff attorneys, and other program staff as needed.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Program-focused engagement (80%)
- Spearhead new oil and gas regulatory reform and climate justice policies by working closely with high-ranking state and federal administrative officials and advocacy organizations to further our progressive agenda at the state and ultimately national level.
- File and sustain comment letters and administrative appeals, challenging air pollution and other environmental permits for oil and gas facilities.
- Initiate and proactively engage in precedent setting rulemakings related to the regulation of air, waste, and water and to advance new policies through creative strategies and tactics, such as rulemaking petitions.
- Collaborate with Program Director, other organizations and allies when engaging in rulemaking and other proceedings-including potential use of expert and non-technical witnesses, primarily focused in New Mexico.
- Draft and submit prehearing filings, technical comment letters and present in-person and virtual presentation of testimony, based on research, while meeting deadlines.
- Draft and submit comment letters, develop appeals targeting Bureau of Land Management decisions, and weigh in on state policy initiatives for strategic engagement with the agency and state-level oversight of oil & gas industry, to confront ill-conceived development proposals and to strengthen land and resource safeguards.
- Review and provide feedback on state legislation as needed, as well as providing testimony on behalf of WildEarth Guardians to the Legislature and legislative committees, and administrative hearings and committees throughout the year.
- Draft or assist in the drafting of technical comments on administrative actions, such as permits, related to oil and gas regulation.
- Scrutinize federal oversight of New Mexico’s regulation of air and water, develop and guide litigation against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over air and water approvals and/or missed mandatory deadlines, as needed.
- When necessary, assist staff attorneys in the development, filing, and prosecution of environmental enforcement cases undertaken by WildEarth Guardians in federal court, including cases under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
- Participate in coalition-building strategies at a local, regional, and national level, and maintain key relationships with partner organizations, and work on task forces and committees representing WildEarth Guardians’ mission and objectives.
- Perform duties as assigned.
Communications work (10%)
- Managing media and communications efforts related to legal and policy work, including press releases, blogs, fact sheets, and social media content.
- Communicate with media to provide perspective and commentary on issues of importance to Guardians.
- Prepare press materials, including press releases, background bullet sheets, etc., in collaboration with the Program Director.
- Draft commentary for posting on WildEarth Guardians’ blog or for submission to opinion pages, and engage in social media as directed.
- Draft communications materials to assist in outreach to WildEarth Guardians members and supporters.
- Represent Guardians in related organization communication and outreach events.
Community Engagement (10%)
- Participate in key coalition meetings, calls, and gatherings related primarily to our New Mexico -specific work.
- Develop and cultivate independent relationships with other allied organizations and their staff in consultation and collaboration with the Program Director.
- Nurture and sustain WildEarth Guardians’ relationships with key elected leaders and officials in consultation and collaboration with the Program Director and the Senior Campaigner.
- Lead Guardians in key formal and informal coalitions, and become a go-to resource for supporters, allies, and others as we engage in administrative and legal matters.
- Travel to attend community meetings and interact with frontline allies.
- Participate in monthly staff meetings and engage in other staff and/or program activities such as retreats, trainings, workshops, committees, and conversations as needed.
- Engage in regular check-ins with the Climate and Energy Program Director
- Provide some support around fundraising, event planning, and office management, but only in limited situations.
- 5+ years of demonstrated legal and/or policy experience in environmental issues, such as litigation, administrative engagement, and rule and policy development.
- Experience writing and filing administrative comments, developing legal cases, and analyzing and interpreting legislative and regulatory language.
- Good standing with any bar admitted to, if applicant is an attorney.
- Experience as a public spokesperson with the ability to analyze and articulate legal concepts and other complex issues and to communicate them to a variety of audiences.
- Experience with lobbying and engaging with rulemaking and administrative policy efforts, with a preference toward experience in New Mexico or other western states.
- An understanding of western U.S. political dynamics, demographics, and cultural characteristics, with a distinct understanding of New Mexico, preferred.
- Experience considering the impacts of oil and gas extraction, and other environmental issues on multiple communities, including communities of color.
- Ability to build authentic relationships and coalitions with partner organizations, including environmental advocacy groups led by diverse, underrepresented, minority groups.
- Ability and willingness to learn and practice Guardians’ Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion principles.
- A heightened understanding of organizational management and data.
- Ability to use provided technology: Microsoft Office, Gmail, Google Drive, etc.
- Ability to learn from mistakes
Compensation and Benefits
Salary: $63,000 – $76,000
Location: Remote with option to work in WildEarth Guardians’ Colorado or Santa Fe offices. (Regular travel expected within or to NM for field visits, strategic meetings, networking with allies, and building familiarity with the lands and communities involved in the work).
WildEarth Guardians offers a friendly and flexible, team-based environment with an excellent benefits package, including health & wellness, vision, dental, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b)- retirement plan with a 3% match, vacation, paid sick time, 14 paid holidays (including floating days), and a paid long-term leave policy (family/sabbatical).
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will conclude once we have found the best candidate. The position will remain open until filled. No telephone calls or emails, please.
WildEarth Guardians is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, class, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, family/marital status, religion or other protected classes. We strongly encourage applications from historically excluded communities.
Learn more here
Job posted: 2022-07-31