Clint Guidry is a shrimper from Lafitte, Louisiana. As we sit together, he shows me a picture of his house with 18 inches of water in it as a result of Hurricane Ike in 2008.
In his deep voice, he looks me in the eye and says, “My fear is repeating this situation, but with this water with oil on top of it.”
Guidry represents all the shrimpers in Louisiana, given that he is the Shrimp Harvester Representative on the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force that was created by the state’s governor.
Prior to this fishing season, he, like the rest of Louisiana’s fishermen, was excited for good season, with the price of shrimp per pound finally weighing more in their favor.
“We were primed for a great season,” Guidry says, “And it all got taken away.”
Unlike most fishermen who’ve had their livelihoods decimated by BP’s oil disaster, Guidry has chosen not to work for BP doing skimming and booming operations with his boat.
“I worked for Brown and Root in the oil industry,” Guidry informs, “I know the dangers of oil and chemicals, so there’s no way I’m going to go work out in this stuff. Instead, I’m trying to help make sure BP is paying people, and being safe. But I’m not accomplishing either one yet.”
Guidry is incensed at what he is seeing.
“There has been a BP cover-up from day one,” he says, as I write furiously in my notepad, trying to keep up, “The US Government, OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration], the Coast Guard, NIOSH [National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health], all of them are in on it.”
On May 24th, in Galliano, Louisiana, Guidry testified to a delegation of US Senators, Congressmen, and Agencies and departments under Obama’s administration. He sent the testimony to the president as well, urgently requesting help.