Fact Check

Louisiana Shrimp Quote

British Petroleum spokesperson opines 'Louisiana isn't the only place that has shrimp'?

Published Jun 4, 2010

Claim:   British Petroleum spokesperson opines "Louisiana isn't the only place that has shrimp."


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, June 2010]

Louisiana isn't the only place that has shrimp,"said British Petroleum rep Randy Prescott. His office phone number is (713) 323-4093, email is randy.prescott@bp.com. Give him a call or send him an email and tell him that BP isn't the only place that has fuel for your car.


Origins:   The quote reproduced above, attributed to British Petroleum (BP) representative Randy Prescott, was originally reported on 24 May 2010 by The Lens, a New Orleans-based news site:

BP representative Hugh Depland said that while the company wasn't sure exactly when more workers would be hired, the $239 billion company was spending "a lot of money, time and effort to bring this event to a close." And to those worried restaurateurs facing rising prices for shrimp and oysters? In the words of fellow BP rep Randy Prescott: "Louisiana isn’t the only place that has shrimp."

The Lens later (skeptically) noted that although the quote was accurate as they reported it, Randy Prescott claimed a different interpretation of what he had meant in saying it:

Based on some of the comments here, as well as phone calls we've gotten on this, I’d like to explain a few things about the quote from BP representative Randy Prescott.

First, The Lens stands by the accuracy of the quote. Even Prescott does not dispute that he said this, saying elsewhere that he chose his words poorly and regrets the remark.

Second, we stand by the context of the quote, but we appreciate how Prescott could have interpreted it differently. This was a meeting put on by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and, among others, it drew many owners of mom-and-pop eateries, taquerias and taco trucks. A woman in the crowd asked whether the seafood is safe to eat. Given the other questions preceding her, we interpreted it as a business owner asking whether she should pay higher prices for a product that may or may not be safe to serve.

Prescott interpreted it as a consumer asking whether she could eat seafood at Gulf Coast restaurants. Given the suburban New Orleans setting of the meeting, and the local composition of the audience explained above, it's a stretch to believe that Prescott was offering advice about restaurants across the Gulf Coast. Still, speaking off-the-cuff to a crowd is not easy, and we recognize he may well have heard the question this way.

Last updated:   4 June 2010

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

Article Tags