in a state that is pretty much single-minded in its position in terms of saving the coast," he said.
Charter's optimism was helped by a recent federal appeals court ruling against the previous administration's plan to award new offshore-drilling leases in the Arctic.
So now, "whatever Secretary Salazar does will have his own stamp on it," Charter said. "In each of these hearings, it's become apparent that the Obama administration may be coming around to a new approach."
Public comment for the offshore leasing plan ends in late September. Salazar told reporters that he expects a decision by the end of the year.