Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt, who, along with the late former Gov. Cecil Andrus, has been highly critical of efforts in recent years to weaken the state's nuclear waste agreement with the federal government that he negotiated when he was governor, issued a statement today saying he "accepts" the changes that current Gov. Brad Little and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden have negotiated in the agreement, and saying, "I wish the INL continued success and I know Governor Little will make this a positive step for Idaho.” Here is Batt's full statement:

“When I was Governor I signed an agreement between the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the State of Idaho. The Idaho National Laboratory was limited in the contract to specific qualification and duties listed on the current document.

I have consistently opposed efforts to modify the pact, because it states INL cannot start on new ventures unless all major provisions and protections to the state have been completed. Several major improvements have not been fulfilled.

Governor Little and Attorney General Wasden have agreed to some changes in the document. Although I did not agree with the changes, nevertheless, I accept them to be Idaho’s new agreement with INL.

I have the utmost faith in our Governor and will support him fully. At my age, 92 years old, I will do what I can to help him carry out the new contract. This agreement, now 20 years old, had served us well and resulted in a much better and cleaner site. It is an important part of Idaho. I wish the INL continued success and I know Governor Little will make this a positive step for Idaho.”

- Philip E. Batt

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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