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Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure

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Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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GMAT® Official Guide 2017

Practice Question
Question No.: CR 599
Page: 526

Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure exerted on plant managers during the last five years to improve profits by cutting costs has done nothing to impair the industry’s ability to operate safely. However, environmentalists contend that the recent rash of serious oil spills and accidents at petrochemical plants is traceable to cost-cutting measures.

Which of the following, if true, would provide the strongest support for the position held by industry officials?

(A) The petrochemical industry benefits if accidents do not occur, since accidents involve risk of employee injury as well as loss of equipment and product.

(B) Petrochemical industry unions recently demanded that additional money be spent on safety and environment protection measures, but the unions readily abandoned those demands in exchange for job security.

(C) Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years.

(D) There is evidence that the most damaging of the recent oil spills would have been prevented had cost-cutting measures not been instituted.

(E) Both the large fines and adverse publicity generated by the most recent oil spills have prompted the petrochemical industry to increase the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention.

ID - CR01905

Petrochemical Safety

Step 1: Identify the Question

The phrasing provide the strongest support for the position in the question stem indicates that this is a Strengthen the Argument question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

PI officials: cost cutting in last 5 yrs → no harm to safety

Enviro.: cost cutting → recent spills & accidents

Two groups disagree on the outcome of cost cutting measures at petrochemical plants. One group believes that safety has not been affected. The other group believes that cost cutting measures have caused serious oil spills and accidents.

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

The question asks you to provide support for the position held by industry officials. The right answer will support the conclusion that cost-cutting during the last five years has not hurt safety.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) This answer implies that the petrochemical industry has an incentive to avoid accidents. However, it does not clarify whether there is a relationship between cost-cutting measures and accidents. The petrochemical industry might want to avoid accidents, but be unable to do so, because there simply isn’t enough funding.

(B) This answer could imply that the industry unions believed that safety issues were due to cost-cutting because they demanded additional funding. It could also imply that the unions don’t hold that belief, since they readily abandoned their demands for funding. Without knowing exactly what the unions’ beliefs were, and without knowing whether the unions’ beliefs were correct, this answer does not support either the industry officials or the environmentalists.

(C) CORRECT. According to this answer choice, cost-cutting actually hasn’t led to cutbacks in environmental and safety measures. In fact, more resources are being used on these measures now than were used prior to the cost-cutting. So, the safety issues during the last five years cannot be blamed on inadequate safety funding: if inadequate funding was the cause, then you would also expect to see similar safety issues prior to the cost-cutting era, when funding for safety was even lower.

(D) This answer provides evidence that cost-cutting and safety issues are related; thus, it supports the environmentalists’ position, not the industry officials’ position.

(E) The industry officials’ claim is about the cause of the accidents. This answer choice deals with a result of the accident (increased oil-spill prevention resources), which could have occurred regardless of the accident’s cause.

Originally posted by AbdurRakib on 15 Jun 2016, 11:53.
Last edited by BillyZ on 04 Sep 2018, 21:03, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2016, 19:11
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Industry officials position: Cost cutting measures has done nothing to impair the industry’s ability to operate safely.

We need to support industry officials position.

Further, industry officials position seem to contradict the environmentalist's position that recent rash of serious oil spills and accidents at pharmaceutical plants is traceable to cost-cutting measures.

POE

A) The petrochemical industry benefits if accidents do not occur, since accidents involve risk of employee injury as well as loss of equipment and product.

We need to support that cost cutting measures has not compromised on safety. This option makes a general observation but doesn't suggest whether cost-cutting compulsions did sacrifice safety. Eliminate.

B) Petrochemical industry unions recently demanded that additional money be spent on safety and environment protection measures, nut the unions readily abandoned those demands in exchange for job security.

This option doesn't suggest whether unions industry did pay attention to union demands. Eliminate.

C) Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years.

Good. This option suggests that those cost cutting measures by industry did not compromise on safety but focussed on other areas.

D) There is evidence that the most damaging of the recent oil spills would have been prevented had cost-cutting measures not been instituted.

This support environmentalist's position but not industry's position.

E) Both the large fines and adverse publicity generated by the most recent oil spills have prompted the petrochemical industry to increase the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention.

Out of scope. This option talks about measures taken after oil-spill, totally unrelated to industry official's position.
Ans C.
Hope it helps.
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2016, 08:43
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AbdurRakib wrote:
Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure exerted on plant managers during the last five years to improve profits by cutting costs has done nothing to impair the industry’s ability to operate safely. However, environmentalists contend that the recent rash of serious oil spills and accidents at pharmaceutical plants is traceable to cost-cutting measures.

Which of the following, if true, would provide the strongest support for the position held by industry officials?

A) The petrochemical industry benefits if accidents do not occur, since accidents involve risk of employee injury as well as loss of equipment and product.
B) Petrochemical industry unions recently demanded that additional money be spent on safety and environment protection measures, nut the unions readily abandoned those demands in exchange for job security.
C) Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years.
D) There is evidence that the most damaging of the recent oil spills would have been prevented had cost-cutting measures not been instituted.
E) Both the large fines and adverse publicity generated by the most recent oil spills have prompted the petrochemical industry to increase the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention.

OG 2017 New Question


Question is asking us to support industry official.

Industry official is claiming that cost cutting has no role in reducing the safety at work (or the recent oil spill)


A) The petrochemical industry benefits if accidents do not occur, since accidents involve risk of employee injury as well as loss of equipment and product. In general its good, but it is not mentioning anything about cost cutting
B) Petrochemical industry unions recently demanded that additional money be spent on safety and environment protection measures, nut the unions readily abandoned those demands in exchange for job security. abandoning the union's request has nothing to do with weather cost cutting leads to safety reduction.
C) Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years. This supports the claim of industry official as despite of cutting the cost, it was in fact improved.
D) There is evidence that the most damaging of the recent oil spills would have been prevented had cost-cutting measures not been instituted. weakens the officials statement by showing that cost cutting was reason of oil spill
E) Both the large fines and adverse publicity generated by the most recent oil spills have prompted the petrochemical industry to increase the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention. Cost cutting is not talked about
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2016, 01:26
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stimusus;
petrochemical industry said that cutting cost=cannot negatively affect their ability to operate safely.
environmentalist said that cutting cost = reason for recent serious oil spills.
in answers, there is no question that directly weaken the evidence of environmentalist. only in C show the idea that supports industry claim.
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2016, 06:50
However, environmentalists contend that the recent rash of serious oil spills and accidents at pharmaceutical plants is traceable to cost-cutting measures.

Pardon my ignorance....May be I m missing something....How pharmaceutical plants will have oil spills ?

I got distracted after reading this statement.

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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure exerted on plant managers during the last five years to improve profits by cutting costs has done nothing to impair the industry’s ability to operate safely. However, environmentalists contend that the recent rash of serious oil spills and accidents at petrochemical plants is traceable to cost-cutting measures.

Strengthen Petrochemical industry officials position that cost cutting measures implemented by plant managers has not impaired safety .

A) The petrochemical industry benefits if accidents do not occur, since accidents involve risk of employee injury as well as loss of equipment and product.
Relevant but not conclusive - this is a general observation
B) Petrochemical industry unions recently demanded that additional money be spent on safety and environment protection measures, but the unions readily abandoned those demands in exchange for job security. irrelevant
C) Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years. Correct answer - The focus on safety measures has increased in past 5 years .
D) There is evidence that the most damaging of the recent oil spills would have been prevented had cost-cutting measures not been instituted.
This restates the position of environmentalists
E) Both the large fines and adverse publicity generated by the most recent oil spills have prompted the petrochemical industry to increase the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention. Out of scope

Answer C
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2016, 14:41
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I was down to B and C, and thereafter it was an easy journey. Both B and C are reciprocal to each other.

B strengthen the Environmentalists claim that the recent rash of serious oil spills and accidents at petrochemical plants is traceable to cost-cutting measures.

Thus OPTION C is a clear winner.
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2016, 02:22
I ended up discarding C because it was not expressly mentioned that the industry had actually met the enviromentalists requirements in the last five years; A, on the other hand and after further reflection, is more perceivably off-topic. Hard one.
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New post 10 Oct 2016, 10:01
was confused between A and C. Finaly chose C. I have been getting wrong ans to strengthen questions in a row lately.
So I took 15 mins with this and kept explaining myself why I think this ans choice is better than the other one.
Kind of pros and cons table for each contender ans choice. Thankfully that worked this time. I guess I was being
overconfident so far now hitting flukes. I need to do similar analysis for all questions in future.

Thank you for posting.

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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2017, 17:01
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Simplify the argument -

Industry officials
Cutting costs to improve profits--> No impact on safety

Environmentalists
Cutting costs --> oil spills and accidents --> negative impact on safety.

We are asked to strengthen the industry officials' argument.

Option A - Incorrect.
this option says
No accidents --> No losses due to damage to equipment and employees.
This option does not make it clear why cost cutting measures had little to no impact on safety.

Option B - Incorrect.
this kind of weakens the argument. if they abandoned their demands for additional safety measures, probably that had a negative impact on safety.

Option C - Correct.
Gives a reason to say why the cost cutting measures had no impact on safety. Because, they did not impact spending on safety measures.

Option D - Incorrect.
Weakens the argument.

Option E - Incorrect.
Note that we are talking about the impact of cost-cutting measures implemented in the last 5 years. The new measures taken to improve safety have no impact on that. Hence, not relevant.
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2017, 19:49
megha_2709 wrote:
was confused between A and C. Finaly chose C. I have been getting wrong ans to strengthen questions in a row lately.
So I took 15 mins with this and kept explaining myself why I think this ans choice is better than the other one.
Kind of pros and cons table for each contender ans choice. Thankfully that worked this time. I guess I was being
overconfident so far now hitting flukes. I need to do similar analysis for all questions in future.

Thank you for posting.

Regard
Megha


Would your approach work in on the official test? Seems time-consuming. Which materials are you using for study? I use ManhattanGMAT, and I get 100% on these and weaken questions. I have heard the Powerscore CR Bible is good as well, if not better.
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2018, 03:07
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AbdurRakib wrote:
Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure exerted on plant managers during the last five years to improve profits by cutting costs has done nothing to impair the industry’s ability to operate safely. However, environmentalists contend that the recent rash of serious oil spills and accidents at petrochemical plants is traceable to cost-cutting measures.

Which of the following, if true, would provide the strongest support for the position held by industry officials?

A) The petrochemical industry benefits if accidents do not occur, since accidents involve risk of employee injury as well as loss of equipment and product.

B) Petrochemical industry unions recently demanded that additional money be spent on safety and environment protection measures, but the unions readily abandoned those demands in exchange for job security.

C) Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years.

D) There is evidence that the most damaging of the recent oil spills would have been prevented had cost-cutting measures not been instituted.

E) Both the large fines and adverse publicity generated by the most recent oil spills have prompted the petrochemical industry to increase the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention.

OG 2017 New Question






C) Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years.

Take a folloing case :-
preceding five years.
# of safety incidents 1000

Last Five years
#of safety incidents 100


it may be the case that, more resources have been devoted towards reducing the overall # of safety incidents. however it could still be that the 100 incidents are because of pressure for increasing the profits. Had the pressure not been there, there would have been very few accident (<5 accidents for example)
How can this scenario strengthen Petro executive's claim that the extreme pressure has done nothing to impair the industry's ability to operate safely?

I rejected this choice coz its comparing the last five years with previous five years
......safety measures in the last five years than the preceding five years.

Still don't get it. Can someone please explain this ?
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2019, 17:36
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We need to support Petrochemical industry officials (people who work in oil industry).

People from oil industry say that even though they cut expenses, this fact did not reduce the safety of operations.
Environmentalists blame oil industry officials and say that cost cutting actually did reduce the safety and brought more accidents.

Well, the situation is simple: first kid says "My actions did not cause anything bad", and his friend says "yeah man, you actually did bad stuff because there is some evidence!" How can we support the first kid?

We need to find something that shows that expense cutting did not cause incidents and reduce safety.

Quote:
(A) The petrochemical industry benefits if accidents do not occur, since accidents involve risk of employee injury as well as loss of equipment and product.


This option says that accidents are bad for oil industry. The oil industry benefits when there are no accidents. This could work, let's keep this option.

Quote:
(B) Petrochemical industry unions recently demanded that additional money be spent on safety and environment protection measures, but the unions readily abandoned those demands in exchange for job security.


If anything, this option would actually weaken oil industry officials' statement. This option says that cost cutting effects negatively affected safety, and some extra funds are needed to improve safety & job security.

Quote:
(C) Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years.


In simple terms, this option says that yeah, oil industry cut a lot of costs, but those costs were cut in areas that do not touch safety and environment. In fact, some extra funds were pumped into safety and environment! This option is definitely better than option (A).

Quote:
(D) There is evidence that the most damaging of the recent oil spills would have been prevented had cost-cutting measures not been instituted.


This option weakens the argument big time. Paraphrased, the option says that well, cost-cutting measures lead to oil spills. Nasty stuff! No one like oil spills, especially environmentalists. This option supports the environmentalists 100%.

Quote:
(E) Both the large fines and adverse publicity generated by the most recent oil spills have prompted the petrochemical industry to increase the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention.


This option is not very relevant to our argument because it talks about fines and publicity, which triggered oil industry people to do stuff. If anything, this option goes against the oil industry folks.
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Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 05 Jul 2020, 03:29
GMATNinja VeritasKarishma Can you please help me understand why A is wrong ?

Quote:
Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure exerted on plant managers during the last five years to improve profits by cutting costs has done nothing to impair the industry’s ability to operate safely. However, environmentalists contend that the recent rash of serious oil spills and accidents at petrochemical plants is traceable to cost-cutting measures.

Which of the following, if true, would provide the strongest support for the position held by industry officials?


Officials : Pressure on plant managers to improve profits by cost cutting has not led to accidents.
Environmentalist: Recent accidents are traceable to cost-cutting

Quote:
(A) The petrochemical industry benefits if accidents do not occur, since accidents involve risk of employee injury as well as loss of equipment and product.


This was my thought process while attempting to answer this question:

This option explains why the industry would not compromise on the safety because that would cost the industry in terms of loss of equipment, employee injury etc..
This in turn explains that oil spills and accident can not be attributed to cost cutting.

Originally posted by ShreyKapil08 on 02 Jul 2020, 09:09.
Last edited by ShreyKapil08 on 05 Jul 2020, 03:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2020, 03:27
CrackVerbalGMAT wrote:
Simplify the argument -

Industry officials
Cutting costs to improve profits--> No impact on safety

Environmentalists
Cutting costs --> oil spills and accidents --> negative impact on safety.

We are asked to strengthen the industry officials' argument.

Option A - Incorrect.
this option says
No accidents --> No losses due to damage to equipment and employees.
This option does not make it clear why cost cutting measures had little to no impact on safety.

Option B - Incorrect.
this kind of weakens the argument. if they abandoned their demands for additional safety measures, probably that had a negative impact on safety.

Option C - Correct.
Gives a reason to say why the cost cutting measures had no impact on safety. Because, they did not impact spending on safety measures.

Option D - Incorrect.
Weakens the argument.

Option E - Incorrect.
Note that we are talking about the impact of cost-cutting measures implemented in the last 5 years. The new measures taken to improve safety have no impact on that. Hence, not relevant.



in C
Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years.

before 5 years: 10 employees were involved
in last 5 years : 12 employees were involved for safety measure

But for actual safety , 50 minimum are required. so even more people were employed in last 5 years than preceding 5 years, this option could not strengthen the industry officials' argument.
then C should not be an option.

However in A,
in order to avoid any loss, the company would make sure that such accidents don't occur as it would impact managers's goal . So this options held more support than C


please suggest.
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2020, 22:57
AbdurRakib wrote:
GMAT® Official Guide 2017

Practice Question
Question No.: CR 599
Page: 526

Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure exerted on plant managers during the last five years to improve profits by cutting costs has done nothing to impair the industry’s ability to operate safely. However, environmentalists contend that the recent rash of serious oil spills and accidents at petrochemical plants is traceable to cost-cutting measures.

Which of the following, if true, would provide the strongest support for the position held by industry officials?

(A) The petrochemical industry benefits if accidents do not occur, since accidents involve risk of employee injury as well as loss of equipment and product.

(B) Petrochemical industry unions recently demanded that additional money be spent on safety and environment protection measures, but the unions readily abandoned those demands in exchange for job security.

(C) Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years.

(D) There is evidence that the most damaging of the recent oil spills would have been prevented had cost-cutting measures not been instituted.

(E) Both the large fines and adverse publicity generated by the most recent oil spills have prompted the petrochemical industry to increase the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention.

ID - CR01905

Petrochemical Safety

Step 1: Identify the Question

The phrasing provide the strongest support for the position in the question stem indicates that this is a Strengthen the Argument question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

PI officials: cost cutting in last 5 yrs → no harm to safety

Enviro.: cost cutting → recent spills & accidents

Two groups disagree on the outcome of cost cutting measures at petrochemical plants. One group believes that safety has not been affected. The other group believes that cost cutting measures have caused serious oil spills and accidents.

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

The question asks you to provide support for the position held by industry officials. The right answer will support the conclusion that cost-cutting during the last five years has not hurt safety.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) This answer implies that the petrochemical industry has an incentive to avoid accidents. However, it does not clarify whether there is a relationship between cost-cutting measures and accidents. The petrochemical industry might want to avoid accidents, but be unable to do so, because there simply isn’t enough funding.

(B) This answer could imply that the industry unions believed that safety issues were due to cost-cutting because they demanded additional funding. It could also imply that the unions don’t hold that belief, since they readily abandoned their demands for funding. Without knowing exactly what the unions’ beliefs were, and without knowing whether the unions’ beliefs were correct, this answer does not support either the industry officials or the environmentalists.

(C) CORRECT. According to this answer choice, cost-cutting actually hasn’t led to cutbacks in environmental and safety measures. In fact, more resources are being used on these measures now than were used prior to the cost-cutting. So, the safety issues during the last five years cannot be blamed on inadequate safety funding: if inadequate funding was the cause, then you would also expect to see similar safety issues prior to the cost-cutting era, when funding for safety was even lower.

(D) This answer provides evidence that cost-cutting and safety issues are related; thus, it supports the environmentalists’ position, not the industry officials’ position.

(E) The industry officials’ claim is about the cause of the accidents. This answer choice deals with a result of the accident (increased oil-spill prevention resources), which could have occurred regardless of the accident’s cause.


In last 5 years, costs have been cut to improve profits.
Petrochemical official says that this has not impaired ability to operate safely.
Environmentalists say that recent accidents are traceable to cost cutting.

We need to strengthen the official's claim.

(A) The petrochemical industry benefits if accidents do not occur, since accidents involve risk of employee injury as well as loss of equipment and product.

Irrelevant. We need to focus on impact of cost cutting, not on impact of accidents. No-accidents may benefit the industry but this doesn't say that cost cutting did not lead to accidents. In any case, the intention of the management is irrelevant. We can only focus on what actually happened.

(B) Petrochemical industry unions recently demanded that additional money be spent on safety and environment protection measures, but the unions readily abandoned those demands in exchange for job security.

Union's role is irrelevant.

(C) Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years.

This says that the industry is actually putting in more money toward safety. So despite the cost cutting, the safety aspect should not be impaired. This supports the official's claim.

(D) There is evidence that the most damaging of the recent oil spills would have been prevented had cost-cutting measures not been instituted.

This helps the environmentalists.

(E) Both the large fines and adverse publicity generated by the most recent oil spills have prompted the petrochemical industry to increase the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention.

What happened in the last 5 years is our concern, not what they will do now.

Answer (C)
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New post 16 Jul 2020, 04:32
Is the option E incorrect only because it mentions the most recent oil spill? In any case, the industry has increased the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention so doesn't that support the position of industry officials?
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2020, 19:29
ShreyKapil08 wrote:
GMATNinja VeritasKarishma Can you please help me understand why A is wrong ?

Quote:
Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure exerted on plant managers during the last five years to improve profits by cutting costs has done nothing to impair the industry’s ability to operate safely. However, environmentalists contend that the recent rash of serious oil spills and accidents at petrochemical plants is traceable to cost-cutting measures.

Which of the following, if true, would provide the strongest support for the position held by industry officials?


Officials : Pressure on plant managers to improve profits by cost cutting has not led to accidents.
Environmentalist: Recent accidents are traceable to cost-cutting

Quote:
(A) The petrochemical industry benefits if accidents do not occur, since accidents involve risk of employee injury as well as loss of equipment and product.


This was my thought process while attempting to answer this question:

This option explains why the industry would not compromise on the safety because that would cost the industry in terms of loss of equipment, employee injury etc..
This in turn explains that oil spills and accident can not be attributed to cost cutting.

option a is a weak supporter . It simply states a logical reasoning that industry would never hard itself but it dosent priove any explanation or evidence to justify the spills made by the co. as claimed by environmentalists .
we need to choose best ans thats why C gives an evidence that the major funding has gone towards saftey so even if spills happen those were just unfortunate but we tried our best . option C shuts the environmentalists mouth . But in A environmentalists could ask for more explanation .
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2020, 07:28
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davidbeckham wrote:
Is the option E incorrect only because it mentions the most recent oil spill? In any case, the industry has increased the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention so doesn't that support the position of industry officials?

In this question we're looking for the answer choice that best supports the Officials' position that:

    the extreme pressure exerted on plant managers during the last five years to improve profits by cutting costs has done nothing to impair the industry’s ability to operate safely

For (E) to be the correct answer, it need to help us explain how cost cutting has not prevented the industry operating safely, despite the extreme pressure to cut costs.

(E) tells us:
Quote:
(E) Both the large fines and adverse publicity generated by the most recent oil spills have prompted the petrochemical industry to increase the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention.

The passage told us the officials believe that the cost cutting measures put in place over the past five years have not affected the industry's ability to operate safely. (E) tells us the industry has increased the resources devoted to oil-spill prevention after the recent oil spills.

From this, we can say the industry is worried it was not devoting enough resources to oil-spill prevention before the accident. In turn, (E) implies the industry could not operate safely with all the cost cutting measures and the environmentalists were right.

Since this weakens the officials' position, (E) cannot be the correct answer to this question.

Compare (E) to (C):
Quote:
(C) Despite major cutbacks in most other areas of operation, the petrochemical industry has devoted more of its resources to environmental and safety measures in the last five years than in the preceding five years.

(C) tells us that major cutbacks have occurred BUT the amount of resources dedicated to environmental and safety measures has increased in the last five years.

This suggests that it is not the cost cutting measures that have caused the recent accidents because the industry is dedicating additional resources to make their facilities safer. Something else must be responsible for these accidents.

(C) provides evidence that helps support the officials' position -- (C) is the answer to this question.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure   [#permalink] 01 Aug 2020, 07:28

Petrochemical industry officials have said that the extreme pressure

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