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Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science

Andrea Travnicek is a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science for the Department of Interior, a role in which she “provides oversight for the U.S. Geological Survey… is the primary policy lead for the Bureau of Reclamation,” and “coordinates the Interior Department’s efforts to advance sustainable hydropower generation and … the WaterSMART initiative.

Andrea Travnicek, most recently a lobbyist for a coal and natural gas company, has worked on energy issues for the past decade for both private sector companies and the government. From 2010 until 2016, Travnicek worked as a senior advisor to the Governor of North Dakota, where she said it was “possible” they’d force the Army Corps of Engineers to transfer 9,000 acres on Lake Oahe to the state and “possibly to private landowners.” Following her government work, Travnicek started working at regional law firm Lockridge Grindal Nauen “as manager of government relations and regulatory affairs.” During that time, Andrea Travnicek began lobbying the state government she’d just left, as a lobbyist for Allete, a natural gas and coal energy company which owns a lignite coal mine in North Dakota that produces 4.5 million tons of lignite coal annually, and Nexus Youth And Family Solutions, which operates a network of child treatment centers. Nexus, which had repeatedly been cited “for allowing vulnerable children to engage in inappropriate sexual contact,” had been publicly condemned months prior to Travnicek registering to lobby for them, after one of their employees entered the room of a teenage girl in their care, where he “exposed his genitals, fondled her breasts, and then ‘anally penetrated’ her.”

Sources: [Department of the Interior, Press Release, 07/12/17, “Agriculture’s Water Economy,” Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Agricultural Symposium, 07/11-12/16, LinkedIn profile for Andrea Travnicek, accessed 07/28/17, Lauren Donovan, “Transfer of Lake Oahe land comes under fire,” Bismarck Tribune, 05/27/16, Lauren Donovan, “Lake Oahe transfer shelved,” Bismarck Tribune, 07/14/16, “2017 Registered Lobbyists,” North Dakota Secretary of State, accessed 07/27/17, “Our Businesses,” Allete, accessed 07/27/17, Jessica Holdman, “BNI company to focus on energy solutions,” Bismarck Tribune, 02/28/16, and Chris Serres and Brandon Stahl, “Caregiver accused of sexually abusing girl was on hiring exclusion list,” Star Tribune, 05/19/16]

Special Interests

Ducks Unlimited (Protecting Public Lands)

In 2004, Travnicek interned for Ducks Unlimited, the "world's largest and most effective private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization."

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also connected to:

Allete (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Travnicek was a registered North Dakota lobbyist for Allete, a natural gas and coal energy company.

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also connected to:

BNI Energy (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Travnicek was a registered North Dakota lobbyist for Allete, the corporate parent of BNI Energy, the parent to the owner of a lignite coal mine in North Dakota.

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also connected to:

BNI Coal (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Travnicek was a registered North Dakota lobbyist for Allete, whose subsidiary BNI Coal, owns a North Dakota lignite mine which mines about 4.5 million tons of lignite coal annually.

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also connected to:

Background Information

Previous Employers

Ducks Unlimited

Nexus Youth And Family Solutions

Allete

BNI Energy

BNI Coal

High Plains Consortium, Inc.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

North Dakota Governor’s Office

Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.

North Dakota State University Extension-Burleigh County

University of Mary-Gary Tharaldson School of Business

Additional Background on Employers of Note:

Andrea Travicek was a registered North Dakota state lobbyist, on behalf of Allete, a natural gas and coal energy company that is also “the corporate parent of BNI Energy, which owns and operates… a lignite mine near Center, North Dakota,” mining “about 4.5 million tons of lignite coal annually.”

Sometime between July 2016 to June 2017, Andrea Travnicek registered as a lobbyist in North Dakota on behalf of Allete.

[“2017 Registered Lobbyists,” North Dakota Secretary of State, accessed 07/27/17]

Allete is an energy company that “generates electricity from coal-fired, natural gas-fired, biomass co-fired, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and other sources” and “serves taconite mining, iron concentrate, paper, pulp and wood products, and pipeline industries.” Allete is also the “corporate parent of BNI Energy, which owns and operates BNI Coal, LTD., a lignite mine near Center, North Dakota,” which “mines about 4.5 million tons of lignite coal annually.”

[“Our Businesses, Allete, accessed 07/27/17 and Jessica Holdman, “BNI company to focus on energy solutions,” Bismarck Tribune, 02/28/16]

In 2016, Andrea Travnicek said it was “possible” they would force the transfer of 9,000 acres on Lake Oahe “owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers” to the the state and “possibly to private landowners.”

In 2016, following the passage of a 2015 bill directing North Dakota Governor and the state’s congressional delegation to get Congress to transfer about 9,000 acres on Lake Oahe “owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.” Former Corps of Engineers member Andrea Travnicek, “the governor’s policy adviser on natural resources, said the possible return of private lands, where practicable, is under discussion,” to be given ” to the state and possibly to private landowners.”

[Lauren Donovan, “Transfer of Lake Oahe land comes under fire,” Bismarck Tribune, 05/27/16 and Lauren Donovan, “Lake Oahe transfer shelved,” Bismarck Tribune, 07/14/16]

Andrea Travnicek said she “lobbied Congress for FY’05 Wetland Conservation Act funding” when she worked for Ducks Unlimited in 2004.

In 2004, Andrea Travnicek interned for Ducks Unlimited, where she “Lobbied Congress for FY’05 Wetland Conservation Act funding, collected signatures on Capitol Hill.”

[LinkedIn Profile for Andrea Travnicek, accessed 07/28/17]

In 2015, Andrea Travnicek raked in a $21,040 bonus paid by taxpayer money, the “first time” a Governor had “used the bonus program since it started in 1999.”

Andrea Travnicek, in June 2015, was paid a $21,040 retention bonus by Republican North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple. Gov. Dalrymple paid out a total of $99,824 in retention bonuses, “the first time a governor has used the bonus program since it started in 1999.”

[Mike Nowatzki, “Dalrymple says incentives needed to keep key employees,” Bismarck Tribune, 11/03/15]

Political Connections

On September 13, 2016, Andrea Travnicek contributed $298 to the North Dakota Republican Party.

[Search for Andrea Travnicek, National Institute on Money in State Politics, accessed 07/27/17]

Financials

Financial Disclosure

Department of the Interior salary: $162,000

[Andrea Jean Travnicek, ProPublica’s Trump Town, accessed 03/14/18]