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New Mexico Climate and Energy Advocate


Salary Range: $63,000 to $76,000

Location: New Mexico

Deadline for Applications: Reviewed on a rolling basis, starting on June 8, 2022 NOW EXTENDED TO JUNE 17!

WildEarth Guardians is hiring a full-time Climate and Energy Advocate to play a leading role in our western U.S.-wide efforts to safeguard our climate. The Advocate will lead advocacy strategies through engagement with administrative agencies, the media, the public, and the courts, primarily focused in New Mexico, where there is tremendous need and opportunity to advance a just and equitable transition from fossil fuels.

About WildEarth Guardians

WildEarth Guardians (Guardians) is a west-wide environmental advocacy organization headquartered in Santa Fe, NM. The organization has offices in Denver, CO, Missoula, MT, Boise, ID, Seattle, WA, and Tucson, AZ, as well as several remote staff. With a more than 30-year history of bold action for the environment, we create and pursue innovative legal and grassroots campaigns to protect and restore wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health in the western U.S.

Our Climate and Energy Program advocates for an American West that is fossil fuel-free by 2035, including 100% powered by renewable energy by 2030, frack-free by 2028, and on the path to full buildings and transportation electrification before 2050.

Examples of 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. We recognize the importance of the moment: Ours is the first generation to experience the impacts of climate change and ecosystem destruction, and the last generation with a window of time to do something about it.

In New Mexico, WildEarth Guardians is implementing two key initiatives to confront the oil and gas industry and the greenhouse gases associated with extraction and consumption of fossil fuels. These initiatives include our campaign to protect the Greater Chaco region of northwest New Mexico from unchecked fracking and a campaign to rein in the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin of southeast New Mexico, which is a part of the world’s largest oil producing region. We recognize that oil and gas extraction cannot coexist with maintaining a safe climate and achieving environmental justice. To this end, our efforts to confront the industry in New Mexico aim to enforce the reality that meaningful and effective climate action requires that we start keeping oil and gas in the ground.

Position Summary

Working closely with WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program Director, the Climate and Energy Advocate will develop and spearhead 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 in New Mexico. The Advocate will lead WildEarth Guardians’ engagement in rulemakings and other policy initiatives, administrative proceedings, and assist in environmental enforcement actions. While being an attorney is not a requirement, the ideal candidate brings experience and understanding around the law and legal engagement.

While focused heavily on seizing opportunities in New Mexico, the work will be done with an eye toward advancing change on a western U.S.—and even U.S.-wide scale.

The Advocate will report to WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program Director, and will collaborate and work closely with Guardians’ staff attorneys and other program staff.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Advancing legal strategies to confront oil and gas extraction in New Mexico with a particular emphasis on public lands, including lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and New Mexico State Land Office. This includes preparing and presenting technical administrative and legal comments, drafting appeals, and at times directing in-house and outside counsel around oil and gas issues.
  • Near-term work includes filing and sustaining comment letters and administrative appeals within the New Mexico Environment Department challenging air pollution and other environmental permits for oil and gas facilities, as well as initiating and engaging in precedent setting rulemakings related to the regulation of air, waste, and water.
  • Spearheading 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.
  • Managing media and communications efforts related to legal and policy work, including press releases, blogs, fact sheets, and social media content.
  • Participating in coalition-building strategies at a local, regional, and national level, and maintaining key relationships with partner organizations, as well as working on task forces and committees representing WildEarth Guardians’ mission or objective.

Requirements and Considerations for the position include:

  • 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.
  • If an attorney, the advocate will be in good standing with any bar admitted to and be licensed to practice in New Mexico at the time of hire or shortly thereafter.
  • 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.
  • A demonstrated ability and willingness to learn and practice Guardians’ Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion principles
  • An understanding of western U.S. political dynamics, demographics, and cultural characteristics, with a distinctive understanding of New Mexico.
  • A healthy degree of irreverence, outrage, and sense of humor.

Note that experience includes lived experience, traditional knowledge, volunteer experience, school or coursework, and other related qualifications, skills, and experience. Most candidates will not meet every requirement. If you’re excited about the position and think you may be a good candidate, we encourage you to apply.

Experience, Knowledge and Skills

The ideal Climate and Energy Advocate is adaptable, an expert generalist in legal and policy work with the ability to navigate politics without compromising principles, who will bring to the position a fine attention to detail and rigor in issue spotting. Knowledge and skills that will be beneficial to bring to the position include:

  • The ability to produce consistent, quality work in a fast-paced campaign environment while juggling multiple priorities and deadlines.
  • A highly collaborative leadership style with the ability to partner with and influence key organizational leaders.
  • Some expertise on issues related to the oversight and regulation of the oil and gas industry.
  • Detail-oriented and organized, with exceptional research and communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Excellent judgment, discretion, and diplomacy. Dynamic and empathetic skills to foster relationships with partners, agencies, and communities.
  • Proficiency in the use of digital communications platforms, word processing and data management software (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel), and web browsers for research and data mining.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary: $63,000 – $76,000
Location: Ideally New Mexico
WildEarth Guardians offers a friendly and flexible, team-based environment with an excellent benefits package, including full health, vision, dental, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b) retirement plan with a 3% match, 35 days combined of vacation and personal leave on top of all federal holidays, and a paid long-term leave policy (family/sabbatical).

To Apply

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, please. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

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 underrepresented communities. If you require assistance applying to this opportunity, please contact Danielle Plourde, dplourde@wildearthguardians.org.


Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) VISION STATEMENT 

Read Wildearth Guardian’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion statement