Since the passage of the states Clean Air Act ten years ago, : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Since the passage of the states Clean Air Act ten years ago,

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CEO
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Since the passage of the states Clean Air Act ten years ago, [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2007, 20:08
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Since the passage of the states Clean Air Act ten years ago, the level of industrial pollutants in the air has fallen by an average of 18 percent. This suggests that the restrictions on industry embodied in the act have worked effectively. However, during the same period the state has also suffered through a period of economic decline. The number of businesses in the state has fallen by 10 percent, and the number of workers employed has fallen by 12 percent. It is probable that the business decline, rather than the regulations in the act, is responsible for at least half of the decline in the pollution.

Q. Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the conclusion drawn in the passage above?

A. During the last ten years, economic conditions in the nation as a whole have been worse than those within the state.

B. Amendments to the Clean Air Act that were enacted six years ago have substantially strengthened its restrictions on industrial air pollution.

C. Of the businesses that ceased operating in the state during the last ten years, only 5 percent were engaged in air-polluting industries.

D. Several large corporations left the state during the last ten years partly in order to avoid compliance with the Clean Air Act.

E. Due to its small budget, the state office charged with enforcement of the Clean Air Act has prosecuted only two violators of the law since its passage.
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Director
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08 Oct 2007, 20:19
GMATBLACKBELT wrote:
Since the passage of the states Clean Air Act ten years ago, the level of industrial pollutants in the air has fallen by an average of 18 percent. This suggests that the restrictions on industry embodied in the act have worked effectively. However, during the same period the state has also suffered through a period of economic decline. The number of businesses in the state has fallen by 10 percent, and the number of workers employed has fallen by 12 percent. It is probable that the business decline, rather than the regulations in the act, is responsible for at least half of the decline in the pollution.

Q. Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the conclusion drawn in the passage above?

A. During the last ten years, economic conditions in the nation as a whole have been worse than those within the state.

B. Amendments to the Clean Air Act that were enacted six years ago have substantially strengthened its restrictions on industrial air pollution.

C. Of the businesses that ceased operating in the state during the last ten years, only 5 percent were engaged in air-polluting industries.

D. Several large corporations left the state during the last ten years partly in order to avoid compliance with the Clean Air Act.

E. Due to its small budget, the state office charged with enforcement of the Clean Air Act has prosecuted only two violators of the law since its passage.

only one that makes sense to me is C
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08 Oct 2007, 20:23
Why C? I just am not seeing this one.
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08 Oct 2007, 20:23
D
this makes the act fully responsible.
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08 Oct 2007, 20:34
GMATBLACKBELT wrote:
Since the passage of the states Clean Air Act ten years ago, the level of industrial pollutants in the air has fallen by an average of 18 percent. This suggests that the restrictions on industry embodied in the act have worked effectively. However, during the same period the state has also suffered through a period of economic decline. The number of businesses in the state has fallen by 10 percent, and the number of workers employed has fallen by 12 percent. It is probable that the business decline, rather than the regulations in the act, is responsible for at least half of the decline in the pollution.

Q. Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the conclusion drawn in the passage above?

A. During the last ten years, economic conditions in the nation as a whole have been worse than those within the state.

B. Amendments to the Clean Air Act that were enacted six years ago have substantially strengthened its restrictions on industrial air pollution.

C. Of the businesses that ceased operating in the state during the last ten years, only 5 percent were engaged in air-polluting industries.

D. Several large corporations left the state during the last ten years partly in order to avoid compliance with the Clean Air Act.

E. Due to its small budget, the state office charged with enforcement of the Clean Air Act has prosecuted only two violators of the law since its passage.

this is the way i see it: the conclusion is saying the businesses are the reason for the decline in the pollution and not the Clean Air Act. but we want to weaken this by saying that of the businesses that left, if only 5% of the total were pollutant contributors, then they couldn't be the reason for at least half the decline as i had emphasized in red.

i hope thats the right logic....
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08 Oct 2007, 20:37
D - Strengthens the argument. If several large corporations left the state then that confirms the premise that a decline in business is responsible for some of the pollution decline.

C - If only 5% of the companies that ceased operation in the last 10 years were involved in the pollution, then this destroys the premise that a decline in business was responsible for the decline in pollution. Lets say 20 companies ceased operation in the last 10 years. That means only 1 of these companies were involved in the pollution. If this is the case then a decline in business is not responsible for at least half of the decline of pollution.
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08 Oct 2007, 20:51
My take is on D.

May be departure of Industries has been responsible for the decline of pullution but it's Clean Air Act that has made those industries to escape from the state.

- Brajesh
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08 Oct 2007, 20:57
JDMBA wrote:
D - Strengthens the argument. If several large corporations left the state then that confirms the premise that a decline in business is responsible for some of the pollution decline.

C - If only 5% of the companies that ceased operation in the last 10 years were involved in the pollution, then this destroys the premise that a decline in business was responsible for the decline in pollution. Lets say 20 companies ceased operation in the last 10 years. That means only 1 of these companies were involved in the pollution. If this is the case then a decline in business is not responsible for at least half of the decline of pollution.

I agree w/ ur logic here and I was stuck btwn C and D. I said what BKK said.

D makes the act fully responsible. So this weakens the conclusion that it was just business decline. I can see that D would say business decline was the actual cause. But I would also say that b/c of the regulations, this caused businesses to leave. So this makes the act responsible for causing businesses to leave. So essentially the regulations DID cause business to decline.

I still say this is a very iffy CR.

We are suppose to be attacking the conclusion here not premises or minor claims.
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08 Oct 2007, 21:04
D. Several large corporations left the state during the last ten years partly in order to avoid compliance with the Clean Air Act. - The regulations forced the large corporations to move out of the state - hence it weakens the conclusion.
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08 Oct 2007, 21:18
my vote goes for "C"
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08 Oct 2007, 21:24
OA is C. Grats to those who got it. I still don't see why D is incorrect. I just think its a weak CR, but maybe im just too stubborn right now to want to see it.
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08 Oct 2007, 21:27
I know some of the books say that the answers should strengthen the conclusion but there will be answers that strengthen or weaken the premise.

D 100% strengthens the argument. The act is not fully responsible. Businesses only partly left because of the new regulations they were not forced to leave.
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08 Oct 2007, 21:28
GMATBLACKBELT wrote:
JDMBA wrote:
D - Strengthens the argument. If several large corporations left the state then that confirms the premise that a decline in business is responsible for some of the pollution decline.

C - If only 5% of the companies that ceased operation in the last 10 years were involved in the pollution, then this destroys the premise that a decline in business was responsible for the decline in pollution. Lets say 20 companies ceased operation in the last 10 years. That means only 1 of these companies were involved in the pollution. If this is the case then a decline in business is not responsible for at least half of the decline of pollution.

I agree w/ ur logic here and I was stuck btwn C and D. I said what BKK said.

D makes the act fully responsible. So this weakens the conclusion that it was just business decline. I can see that D would say business decline was the actual cause. But I would also say that b/c of the regulations, this caused businesses to leave. So this makes the act responsible for causing businesses to leave. So essentially the regulations DID cause business to decline.

I still say this is a very iffy CR.

We are suppose to be attacking the conclusion here not premises or minor claims.

doesn't the question specifically ask to weaken the conclusion and not weaken the argument? from this i don't see why we are concerned with attacking the minor claims...
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08 Oct 2007, 21:48
beckee529 wrote:
GMATBLACKBELT wrote:
JDMBA wrote:
D - Strengthens the argument. If several large corporations left the state then that confirms the premise that a decline in business is responsible for some of the pollution decline.

C - If only 5% of the companies that ceased operation in the last 10 years were involved in the pollution, then this destroys the premise that a decline in business was responsible for the decline in pollution. Lets say 20 companies ceased operation in the last 10 years. That means only 1 of these companies were involved in the pollution. If this is the case then a decline in business is not responsible for at least half of the decline of pollution.

I agree w/ ur logic here and I was stuck btwn C and D. I said what BKK said.

D makes the act fully responsible. So this weakens the conclusion that it was just business decline. I can see that D would say business decline was the actual cause. But I would also say that b/c of the regulations, this caused businesses to leave. So this makes the act responsible for causing businesses to leave. So essentially the regulations DID cause business to decline.

I still say this is a very iffy CR.

We are suppose to be attacking the conclusion here not premises or minor claims.

doesn't the question specifically ask to weaken the conclusion and not weaken the argument? from this i don't see why we are concerned with attacking the minor claims...

You really arent attacking the conclusion either. The assumptions that are made to link the premise to the conclusion is what is being attacked or strengthened. Without a premise then you cant have an assumption to reach a conclusion. Therefore attacking a premise (minor claim) can strengthen/weaken the conclusion.

Conclusion = It is probable that the business decline, rather than the regulations in the act, is responsible for at least half of the decline in the pollution

Premise = The number of businesses in the state has fallen by 10 percent, and the number of workers employed has fallen by 12 percent.

Assumption = The businesses that left had a part in the air-pollution.

Answer = Of the businesses that ceased operating in the state during the last ten years, only 5 percent were engaged in air-polluting industries.

The answer is attacking the assumption that the businesses that left were responsible for air-pollution. If you only look to strengthen/weaken only the conclusion you arent attacking these questions correctly. You must look at premises, assumption, and conclusion.
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08 Oct 2007, 22:08
JDMBA wrote:
beckee529 wrote:
GMATBLACKBELT wrote:
JDMBA wrote:
D - Strengthens the argument. If several large corporations left the state then that confirms the premise that a decline in business is responsible for some of the pollution decline.

C - If only 5% of the companies that ceased operation in the last 10 years were involved in the pollution, then this destroys the premise that a decline in business was responsible for the decline in pollution. Lets say 20 companies ceased operation in the last 10 years. That means only 1 of these companies were involved in the pollution. If this is the case then a decline in business is not responsible for at least half of the decline of pollution.

I agree w/ ur logic here and I was stuck btwn C and D. I said what BKK said.

D makes the act fully responsible. So this weakens the conclusion that it was just business decline. I can see that D would say business decline was the actual cause. But I would also say that b/c of the regulations, this caused businesses to leave. So this makes the act responsible for causing businesses to leave. So essentially the regulations DID cause business to decline.

I still say this is a very iffy CR.

We are suppose to be attacking the conclusion here not premises or minor claims.

doesn't the question specifically ask to weaken the conclusion and not weaken the argument? from this i don't see why we are concerned with attacking the minor claims...

You really arent attacking the conclusion either. The assumptions that are made to link the premise to the conclusion is what is being attacked or strengthened. Without a premise then you cant have an assumption to reach a conclusion. Therefore attacking a premise (minor claim) can strengthen/weaken the conclusion.

Conclusion = It is probable that the business decline, rather than the regulations in the act, is responsible for at least half of the decline in the pollution

Premise = The number of businesses in the state has fallen by 10 percent, and the number of workers employed has fallen by 12 percent.

Assumption = The businesses that left had a part in the air-pollution.

Answer = Of the businesses that ceased operating in the state during the last ten years, only 5 percent were engaged in air-polluting industries.

The answer is attacking the assumption that the businesses that left were responsible for air-pollution. If you only look to strengthen/weaken only the conclusion you arent attacking these questions correctly. You must look at premises, assumption, and conclusion.

Very well explained.

C looks more promising now......

- Brajesh
08 Oct 2007, 22:08
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