Key Consultants

Samuel A. Van Vactor, Ph.D., President

Dr. Van Vactor has three decades of experience as an economist specializing in energy and natural resource issues. He has appeared as an expert witness on economic and energy issues in a variety of cases; including gasoline marketing, crude oil pricing, electricity market structures, index pricing, and the natural gas industry. He has managed the development of large data storage and retrieval projects at the International Energy Agency of the OECD in Paris and for Texaco, Arco, BP, and Exxon in the United States. He has authored numerous books and articles on energy issues, including An Introduction to the Global Oil and Gas Business, published by PennWell, January 2010. He has a B.S. from the University of Oregon, an M.S. from the University of Washington, research at the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, Darwin College. Dr. Van Vactor can be reached by e-mail at; his cell phone number is (202) 270-5347.

Academic and Professional Associates

Marc H. Vatter, Ph.D., Professional Associate

Dr. Vatter first served with Economic Insight in 1988; he returned from 2010 to 2013. During that time, he modeled Northwest electric resource planning and estimated trade benefits of Entergy joining regional transmission organizations. He sponsored testimony on those estimates before the Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC). He also testified before the MPSC on retrofitting a coal plant with pollution controls, estimated supply and demand for natural gas in the Barnett Shale, analyzed pricing and royalties at a geothermal lease in California, investigated alleged exercise of market power in the 2000 California power crisis, and submitted testimony on economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. He has taught energy economics at the graduate level, published in peer-reviewed journals, and presented research at conferences. He is now Senior Economist at Elevation Direct Corporation. He has a B.A. from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. from Brown University. Dr. Vatter can be reached by e-mail at; his cell phone number is (503) 227-1994.

Ronald D. Ripple, Ph.D., Professional Associate

Dr. Ripple, a former Vice President at EII, organized and conducted a full range of energy market analyses focused on providing strategic planning and litigation support to clients in the public and private sector. He continues to act in an advisory capacity to EII staff. Dr. Ripple specializes in risk analysis (including the role of commodity derivatives and speculation), project feasibility analysis, and oil and natural gas market analysis, with a emphasis on the international trade of natural gas in the form of LNG. He was the Mervin Bovaird Professor of Energy Business and Finance in the Collins College of Business at the University of Tulsa and Professor of Energy Economics at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia. Previously he taught economics at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and economics and finance at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia (where he also served as Head of the Economics Department). He served as the Official Recorder for the Asia Pacific Gas (APGAS) Forum in both 2005 and 2006. On leave from EII from 1994 to 1996, Dr. Ripple spent a year and a half at the East-West Center in Honolulu, HI, where he conducted research on oil and natural gas markets. The primary focus of his research was on the dynamic markets of the Asia Pacific and on trade flows between the US and these markets. He was also the Coordinator of the Center's Pacific Islands Energy Project. Before coming to EII, Dr. Ripple received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon; taught economics at the University of Portland and University of Oregon; was Principal Economist at The McDowell Group in Juneau; and was an Economist for the Office of the Governor of Alaska. Dr. Ripple has appeared as an expert witness in petroleum antitrust and natural gas regulatory cases, and has authored numerous publications, papers, reports, and book contributions.

David J. Ramberg, Academic Associate

David Ramberg joined EII in 2001 after having lived and worked in a variety of places such as Nagoya, Japan and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Until 2008, he served as Editor-in-Chief of EII�s publications: the Energy Market Report and Pacific West Oil Data, a monthly compendium of topical data related to the Pacific Rim crude oil and petroleum product markets. He also wrote and edited research reports and provided analytical and data support for consulting projects. While at EII, he provided expert testimony to city planning commissions regarding developments in the petroleum industry and authored various reports, including one on risk management practices in the natural gas industry. Fluent in several languages including Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese, Mr. Ramberg received a B.A. with Honors in 1995 in Economics and International Studies from the University of Washington. He received his S.M. in Technology and Policy with an energy economics focus from MIT in 2010. He is presently a Ph.D. student at MIT; his cell phone number is (503) 442-2133.