Lament on the Line: 2013 Holy Saturday Event Recap

2013, 5:06 min
On any single day, Enbridge is the largest single conduit of oil into the US. The lines flowing from the Gretna, MB tank farm and pumping station are the company's primary link to the US.

On March 30, 2013, Holy Saturday, a group of 60 people held a service of lament at Gretna, MB.

The liturgy was as peculiar as the location.

Sixty of us stood in a snowy ditch a mile north of North Dakota. We stood next to an Enbridge pumping station, and directly above six buried pipelines that constitute the largest single conduit of crude oil to the U.S.

The worship leader gave us a rare permission: "Today, we take a step back from our need to fix and solve. We put aside forced optimism. We will not look at the bright side. ... We will walk into the valley of the shadow."

As oil coursed silently through the earth beneath us -- roughly 80,000 barrels in the short time we were there -- we lamented the impossibly daunting reality of climate change.

We lamented the threat posed to indigenous people and lands in the path of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, a project that would carry oil from the Canadian oil sands to the Pacific Coast for shipment to Asia.

We lamented our own entanglement in the complicated reality of oil.

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