Sen. Bob Smith (R), the new chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said yesterday that he plans to introduce a bill this year that would "clear the regulatory air" and give utilities new incentives to significantly reduce their emissions. Smith — who ascended to the committee’s top spot after the death of Sen. John Chafee (R) last year and is viewed by enviros as a friend of business — said a new approach is needed because the Clean Air Act imposes complex regulations on utilities and has failed to achieve adequate emissions reductions. Smith is still fleshing out the details of the bill, and he plans to meet with other senators, state officials, utility representatives, and enviros in the process.