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One way governments can decrease air pollution is to impose a tax on i

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One way governments can decrease air pollution is to impose a tax on i  [#permalink]

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 245, Date : 03-Aug-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


One way governments can decrease air pollution
is to impose a tax on industrial carbon dioxide
emissions. But why should governments consider a
carbon tax when they could control emissions by
(5) establishing energy efficiency and conservation
standards, by legislating against coal use, or by
increasing investment in nuclear power? The great
virtue of such a tax is that it would provide
incentives for industry to achieve emission
(10) reductions. Because oil emits more carbon dioxide
per unit of energy generated than does natural gas,
and coal more than oil, a carbon tax would vary with
the type of fuel. Such a tax would induce industry to
substitute less-polluting fuels for those carrying a
(15) higher tax, and also to reduce the total use of
energy.

However, it is not clear how high such a tax
should be or what its economic and environmental
implications would be. At first glance, it is not
(20) difficult to estimate roughly the size of the tax
needed to effect a given level of emission reduction.
One writer estimates, for example, that a tax of 41
percent on the price of coal, 33 percent on oil, and
25 percent on gas would reduce the United
(25) Kingdom’s emissions by 20 percent (using 1988 as
the base year) by the year 2005, the target
recommended by the 1988 Toronto Conference. It
should be noted, however, that these numbers
ignore the effect of the tax on economic growth, and
(30) hence on emissions, and assume that past responses
to a price rise will be replicated in the future. These
numbers are also based on the assumption that all
countries will behave cooperatively in imposing a
carbon tax.

(35) There are very strong reasons to believe that
cooperation would be difficult to win. If most
countries cooperated, then any country that chose
not to cooperate would be advantaged: it would
have no abatement costs, and the effect on the
(40) environment of its defection would be relatively
small. Because of this “free rider” effect,
cooperation on a scale needed to reduce carbon
dioxide emissions might prove elusive.

Should countries act unilaterally to curb
(45) emissions? If a country were to act unilaterally, the
benefits would be spread across the globe, whereas
the costs would fall solely on the country taking the
action. The action would reduce emissions globally,
and the effect of this would be to reduce the benefit
(50) other countries would receive if they reduced
emissions. As a consequence, other countries would
have less incentive to reduce emissions and would
probably emit more carbon dioxide than they would
have if the unilateral action had not been taken.
(55) The entire effect of the emission reduction may not
be lost, but it would surely be diminished by this
free-riding behavior.


1. According to the passage, the size of the carbon tax levied on a given fuel would vary with the

(A) amount of that fuel used by a particular industry
(B) amount of pollution caused by the fuel being taxed
(C) size of the industries using the fuel being taxed
(D) effect that the tax would have on a country’s economy
(E) number of users of a particular fuel at a particular time



2. The author mentions the estimates of “One writer” (line 22) primarily in order to

(A) indicate in a general way the size that a carbon tax must be for it to be effective
(B) provide the most accurate information available about the most practical size for a carbon tax
(C) suggest that the target recommended by the 1988 Toronto Conference is an unrealistic one
(D) undermine the argument that a carbon tax would provide incentives for users to achieve emissions reductions
(E) show how the size of an effective carbon tax can be calculated



3. Which one of the following circumstances would most seriously undermine the conclusion “Such a tax would induce industry to substitute less-polluting fuels for those carrying a higher tax” (lines 13–15)?

(A) The fuel taxed at the highest rate costs considerably less to buy than fuels taxed at lower rates.
(B) The goal set by the Toronto Conference cannot be reached unless each fuel is taxed at a much higher rate.
(C) The tax on coal represents a much greater cost increase than does the tax on oil or gas.
(D) It is discovered that gas produces even less carbon dioxide per unit of energy generated than was previously thought.
(E) It is discovered that coal produces even more carbon dioxide per unit of energy generated than was previously thought.



4. The passage is primarily intended to answer which one of the following questions?

(A) How high a tax should a country’s government impose on carbon dioxide emissions?
(B) What issues should a country’s government consider before deciding whether to impose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions?
(C) What assumptions underlie a country’s decision to impose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions?
(D) How can the effects of industrial pollution on the Earth’s atmosphere be decreased?
(E) What can be done to increase the effectiveness of any tax that a country imposes on carbon dioxide emissions?



5. In response to the question, “Should countries act unilaterally to curb emissions?” (lines 44–45), the author would be most likely to contend that a country should

(A) not act unilaterally because, although that country would receive some benefits from such action, other countries would most likely be harmed by it
(B) not act unilaterally because unilateral action would have no benefits for other countries
(C) not act unilaterally because the cost to that country would not be justified by the limited effect that such action would have on industrial pollution worldwide
(D) act unilaterally because that country’s economy would benefit from the resulting reduction in industrial emissions worldwide
(E) act unilaterally because other countries might well be inspired to follow that country’s example



6. Which one of the following is most parallel to the “free rider” effect mentioned in line 41?

(A) An industry agrees to base itself in a city where there has been little industrial development only if the city will rezone the specific property the industry desires.
(B) Because fares for public transportation are rising, a commuter decides to bicycle to work rather than to use public transportation in a city where auto emissions are a problem.
(C) An apartment dweller begins to recycle newspapers even though no one else in the building does so and recycling is not required by law.
(D) In an area where groundwater has become polluted, a homeowner continues to buy bottled water rather than contribute to a neighborhood fund to combat pollution.
(E) In an area where overgrazing is a severe problem, a shepherd allows his sheep to continue grazing common fields even though his neighbors have agreed to buy feed for their animals until regrowth occurs.



  • Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 17 (December 1995)
  • Difficulty Level: 650

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Re: One way governments can decrease air pollution is to impose a tax on i  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2019, 04:49
1
All correct in 9 mins 30 seconds, including 3 mins 30 seconds to read
Para 1- carbon tax- would induce industry to substitute less-polluting fuels for those carrying a higher tax
Para 2- estimate roughly the size of the tax needed to be effective
Para 3- cooperation and free-rider effect
Para 4- Unilateral action- entire effect of the emission reduction may not be lost, but it would surely be diminished by this free-riding behavior.

1. According to the passage, the size of the carbon tax levied on a given fuel would vary with the

(B) amount of pollution caused by the fuel being taxed- Correct
Because oil emits more carbon dioxide per unit of energy generated than does natural gas, and coal more than oil, a carbon tax would vary with the type of fuel. Such a tax would induce industry to
substitute less-polluting fuels for those carrying higher tax, and also to reduce the total use of energy.

2. The author mentions the estimates of “One writer” (line 22) primarily in order to

(A) indicate in a general way the size that a carbon tax must be for it to be effective- Correct,
However, it is not clear how high such a tax should be or what its economic and environmental implications would be. At first glance, it is not difficult to estimate roughly the size of the tax needed to effect a given level of emission reduction.
(B) provide the most accurate information available about the most practical size for a carbon tax- incorrect, it is neither the most accurate information available nor the most practical size
(C) suggest that the target recommended by the 1988 Toronto Conference is an unrealistic one- incorrect
(D) undermine the argument that a carbon tax would provide incentives for users to achieve emissions reductions- incorrect
(E) show how the size of an effective carbon tax can be calculated
I was down to options A and E and chose A as it is a general way to estimate the size of tax needed

3. Which one of the following circumstances would most seriously undermine the conclusion “Such a tax would induce industry to substitute less-polluting fuels for those carrying a higher tax” (lines 13–15)?

(A) The fuel taxed at the highest rate costs considerably less to buy than fuels taxed at lower rates.- Correct,
cost of coal + carbon tax for coal< cost of oil + carbon tax for oil
Even with a high carbon tax for coal, the overall cost for coal(including carbon tax) might be lower the overall cost of oil(including carbon tax for oil)


4. The passage is primarily intended to answer which one of the following questions?
(B) What issues should a country’s government consider before deciding whether to impose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions? - Correct, how to calculate the size of carbon tax, free rider and cooperation issues


5. In response to the question, “Should countries act unilaterally to curb emissions?” (lines 44–45), the author would be most likely to contend that a country should

(C) not act unilaterally because the cost to that country would not be justified by the limited effect that such action would have on industrial pollution worldwide- Correct
If a country were to act unilaterally, the benefits would be spread across the globe, whereas the costs would fall solely on the country taking the action.
The entire effect of the emission reduction may not be lost, but it would surely be diminished by this free-riding behavior.

6. Which one of the following is most parallel to the “free rider” effect mentioned in line 41?
(E) In an area where overgrazing is a severe problem, a shepherd allows his sheep to continue grazing common fields even though his neighbors have agreed to buy feed for their animals until regrowth occurs.- Correct, here the shepherd who allows his sheep to continue grazing common fields is the free-rider since all others will buy feed. So the action of the free-rider will have cause limited amount of damage to common field.
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Re: One way governments can decrease air pollution is to impose a tax on i  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2019, 02:32
1
Hi everyone,
Took 14:30 minutes and got 4/6 correct. Took 5.30 minutes to read, write down paragraphs summaries and main point.

P1: how to structure a carbon tax
P2:Implications of the tax
P3:Issues with cooperation
P4:Act unilaterally is wrong

MP: Discuss the carbon tax and problems related with it

1. According to the passage, the size of the carbon tax levied on a given fuel would vary with the

Pre-thinking: According to P1 the tax should vary with the degree of the damage associated to a source of pollution

(A) amount of that fuel used by a particular industry
Never mentioned. Hence incorrect

(B) amount of pollution caused by the fuel being taxed
In line with pre thinking. Hence correct

(C) size of the industries using the fuel being taxed
Size never mentioned. Hence incorrect.

(D) effect that the tax would have on a country’s economy
Out of context here. Hence incorrect

(E) number of users of a particular fuel at a particular time
#s never mentioned. Hence incorrect


2. The author mentions the estimates of “One writer” (line 22) primarily in order to

Pre-thinking:Refer to P2 and especially to the lines before and after the example of the writer to understand the purpose behind it.
Before:"At first glance, it is not
(20) difficult to estimate roughly the size of the tax
needed to effect a given level of emission reduction."
After:"It
should be noted, however, that these numbers
ignore the effect of the tax on economic growth, and
(30) hence on emissions, and assume that past responses
to a price rise will be replicated in the future."
So the purpose is to show that calculations are easy but the understanding of all the implications is not. Plus it gives an idea of the size it should be.


(A) indicate in a general way the size that a carbon tax must be for it to be effective
In line with pre-thinking. Hence correct

(B) provide the most accurate information available about the most practical size for a carbon tax
Not the purpose. Hence incorrect

(C) suggest that the target recommended by the 1988 Toronto Conference is an unrealistic one
No such suggestion is made. Hence incorrect

(D) undermine the argument that a carbon tax would provide incentives for users to achieve emissions reductions
Nowhere mentioned. Hence incorrect

(E) show how the size of an effective carbon tax can be calculated
How it is calculated is not discussed. Hence incorrect


3. Which one of the following circumstances would most seriously undermine the conclusion “Such a tax would induce industry to substitute less-polluting fuels for those carrying a higher tax” (lines 13–15)?

Pre-thinking:
Here we have a cause-effect relation where:
Cause: high taxes on most polluting sources and lower taxes on the other sources
Effect: those taxed more will switch to less taxed fuels.
The assumption that lies in between the cause and the effect is that switching from a higher taxed source to a less taxed source means paying less.
So any statement that indicates that switching from a more taxed source to a less taxed source doesn't mean lower costs will be our answer


(A) The fuel taxed at the highest rate costs considerably less to buy than fuels taxed at lower rates.
In line with our pre-thinking. Hence correct

(B) The goal set by the Toronto Conference cannot be reached unless each fuel is taxed at a much higher rate.
Out of context because it has nothing to do with the cause-effect relation discussed.

(C) The tax on coal represents a much greater cost increase than does the tax on oil or gas.
This is a re-statement of what is discussed in the passage and hence it is irrelevant. Hence incorrect.

(D) It is discovered that gas produces even less carbon dioxide per unit of energy generated than was previously thought.
No impact on the relation. Hence incorrect

(E) It is discovered that coal produces even more carbon dioxide per unit of energy generated than was previously thought.
This strengthen the relation hence incorrect


4. The passage is primarily intended to answer which one of the following questions?

Pre-thinking: refer to the main point above

(A) How high a tax should a country’s government impose on carbon dioxide emissions?
Partial scope since discussed only in P1. Incorrect

(B) What issues should a country’s government consider before deciding whether to impose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions?
In line with our main point. Hence correct

(C) What assumptions underlie a country’s decision to impose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions?
Inconsistent. Assumptions are not discussed in such way. Issues are. This one was very tricky and Before selecting it if in doubt between this one and the previous answer choice I would suggest to pause and concentrate on the meaning of assumptions and issues

(D) How can the effects of industrial pollution on the Earth’s atmosphere be decreased?
The tax is the main concern here. Not how to decrease pollution. Hence incorrect

(E) What can be done to increase the effectiveness of any tax that a country imposes on carbon dioxide emissions?
Not discussed. Hence incorrect


5. In response to the question, “Should countries act unilaterally to curb emissions?” (lines 44–45), the author would be most likely to contend that a country should

Pre-thinking:
Tricky question because the author initially seems to support acting unilaterally but then she is against it.
Refer to this part of the passage in P4:"As a consequence, other countries would
have less incentive to reduce emissions and would
probably emit more carbon dioxide than they would
have if the unilateral action had not been taken."
Here we can see how acting unilaterally would be damaging.


(A) not act unilaterally because, although that country would receive some benefits from such action, other countries would most likely be harmed by it
Inconsistent because of the last part of the sentence. No countries would be harmed by such decision but they would certainly cause more pollution, harming themselves. Hence incorrect

(B) not act unilaterally because unilateral action would have no benefits for other countries
Refer to these lines:"If a country were to act unilaterally, the
benefits would be spread across the globe,". Hence incorrect


(C) not act unilaterally because the cost to that country would not be justified by the limited effect that such action would have on industrial pollution worldwide
We can select this choice just by eliminating the following choices since they are in support of acting unilaterally but let's focus on why this is the correct answer.
Refer to the portion mentioned in the Pre-thinking and to this one:"the costs would fall solely on the country taking the
action." Together they gives us the correct answer. Correct


(D) act unilaterally because that country’s economy would benefit from the resulting reduction in industrial emissions worldwide
The author is against acting unilaterally. Hence incorrect

(E) act unilaterally because other countries might well be inspired to follow that country’s example
The author is against acting unilaterally. Hence incorrect


6. Which one of the following is most parallel to the “free rider” effect mentioned in line 41?

Pre-thinking:
the author reasoning here is that a group of entities agrees on respecting a particular law. Then one of these entities gets out, taking advantage of the bound the other entities are subjected to and therefore damaging those entities.
Any answer choice in line with this scenario will be our choice


(A) An industry agrees to base itself in a city where there has been little industrial development only if the city will rezone the specific property the industry desires.
No agreement within many entities. Hence incorrect

(B) Because fares for public transportation are rising, a commuter decides to bicycle to work rather than to use public transportation in a city where auto emissions are a problem.
The commuter won't damage anyone alone. Hence incorrect

(C) An apartment dweller begins to recycle newspapers even though no one else in the building does so and recycling is not required by law.
No agreement, no damage. Hence incorrect

(D) In an area where groundwater has become polluted, a homeowner continues to buy bottled water rather than contribute to a neighborhood fund to combat pollution.
Here the homeowner gets out of a fund(agreement) but it is not clear whether by doing so he will damage those contributing to the fund. Hence incorrect

(E) In an area where overgrazing is a severe problem, a shepherd allows his sheep to continue grazing common fields even though his neighbors have agreed to buy feed for their animals until regrowth occurs.
shepherd (lone rider) acts and damages clearly his neighbors by allowing his sheep to grab when there was an agreement to wait until regrowth. Hence correct
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Re: One way governments can decrease air pollution is to impose a tax on i   [#permalink] 07 Aug 2019, 02:32
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