The incoming CEO of Valero Energy, which is San Antonio's largest corporation, says it couldn't be taking over at a better time, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  Joe Gorder, whose first day on the job at the refining giant is today, says new technologies like horizontal fracking is transforming the energy business.


  "I think we are going to be in for an extended period of what I call natural resource advantaged times," Gorder said in an interview with 1200 WOAI news following the Valero Energy Corp Annual Meeting.


  Gorder says the boom in U.S. crude oil, which his predecessor, Bill Klesse, said was the most significant development in his 45 years in the oil and gas industry, is transforming everything from American foreign policy to the lives of consumers in the United States and around the country.


  Gorder also predicted that the long delayed Keystone XL Pipeline will be built, and will be a major boost to Valero, because its Port Arthur refinery is at one of the terminuses of Keystone.


  He says the recent derailments and explosions of oil carrying rail cars should be enough to convince environmentalists that pipelines are by far the safest and most responsible way to move oil.


  "I would like to think that they would realize this, that pipeline safety is much safer than other type of movements, quite frankly," he said.  "You even try to move barrels on the water you have the risk of skills, while pipelines are proven very safe."


  Gorder takes over at a time when Valero's income is soaring, due largely to higher margins for the crudes it refines.  Gorder spoke at length about his plans for Valero's far flung assets, indicating the company wants to hold onto California refineries which have proven problematic for the company in the past.


  He also said U.S. firms should be allowed to export U.S. crude overseas, but says the oil and gas industry is faced with a number of regulations which 'run counter to the free market.'


  So what does all this mean for consumers?  Where are prices heading.


  Gorder says pump prices remain tied to the price of crude oil on international commodities markets.


  "Crude prices are being supported by a lot of geopolitical activities that we're seeing today," he said, adding that for now, no spikes or drops in pump prices are expected.