Speaking yesterday before the National Association of Manufacturers (can you say “polluters”?), Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH), the new chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, called for scrapping enviro laws that don’t work and for more flexibility in regulations considered onerous by business. Smith said to his industry chums, “You are good stewards, you are trying. And in many cases you are penalized, you are punished, you are being treated as criminals.” Smith pledged to continue the legacy of the former committee chair, the recently deceased John Chafee (R-RI) — who was known for his evenhandedness and support of environmental causes — but not if that meant sacrificing his conservative principles. First order of business, Smith said, will include oversight hearing into the workings of the U.S. EPA and hearings on Everglades restoration. He spoke out against air pollution problems in his native New Hampshire and the rest of New England, which he blamed on Midwest coal-fired power plants.