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The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in

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The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2011, 16:25
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The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in the Hazelton area, but national environmental regulations will force it to close if it continues to use old, polluting processing methods. However, to update the plant to use newer, cleaner methods would be so expensive that the plant will close unless it receives the tax break it has requested. In order to prevent a major increase in local unemployment, the Hazelton government is considering granting the plant's request.

Which of the following would be most important for the Hazelton government to determine before deciding whether to grant the plant’s request?

(A) Whether the company that owns the plant would open a new plant in another area if the present plant were closed
(B) Whether the plant would employ far fewer workers when updated than it does now
(C) Whether the level of pollutants presently being emitted by the plant is high enough to constitute a health hazard for local residents
(D) Whether the majority of the coal processed by the plant is sold outside the Hazelton area
(E) Whether the plant would be able to process more coal when updated than it does now

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Re: CR: official diagnostic Hazelton Coal-Processing  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2011, 17:08
greenspring wrote:
28. The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in the Hazelton area, but national environmental regulations will force it to close if it continues to use old, polluting processing methods. However, to update the plant to use newer, cleaner methods would be so expensive that the plant will close unless it receives the tax break it has requested. In order to prevent a major increase in local unemployment, the Hazelton government is considering granting the plant's request.

Which of following would be most important for the Hazelton government to determine before deciding whether to grant the plant's request?

A. Whether the company that owns the plant would open a new plant in another area if the present plant were closed.

B. Whether the plant would employ far fewer workers when updated than it does now.

C. Whether the level of pollutants presently being emitted by the plant is high enough to constitute a health hazard for local residents.

D. Whether the majority of the coal processed by the plant is sold outside the Hazelton area.

E. Whether the plant would be able to process more coal when updated than it does now.


"A" - If the present plant is closed, Hazelton government would not even worry about this issue. So, the issue whether to grant tax doesn't come into picture.

The question is based on the premise that the company wants to operate in the same city. The government's concerns are both whether the company employs new methods to ensure less harmful environment AND whether the company doesn't hamper the employment.

"B" mentions a situation in which despite offering the grants, the employment may decrease, clearly contradicting government's objective.

"C" is a fact that government already knows about. Again, if this were not true, the issue would not even exist.

"D" concerns the plant, not the government.

"E" So far the objective of reducing pollutants and retaining employees is met, government is happy. If plant can process more coal along the line, it's going to be good for the company and in turn for the government as more revenue ensures more taxes. However, this statement talks about a consideration that government need not worry about.

Ans: "B"
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Re: CR: official diagnostic Hazelton Coal-Processing  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2011, 19:12
I would go with B since the point of the plant is to sustain employment. If less people were employed after the government gives the tax break, then the plan to sustain employment would have failed.
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Re: The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2015, 14:18
I completely agree with OA, yet, I have some ideas that I believe should not be avoided during the analysis of this argument.

If the company does not receive tax break, then it will surely close, since it cannot continue with its old polluting processing methods. Moreover, there is one more reason why would the plant close - the company doesn't have $ to upgrade to cleaner methods.

Basically, if the HG doesn't offer tax break, the plant will definitely close, an action that would lead to huge number of unemployed people.


To prevent the hike in unemployment, the most the government can do is offer tax break. Even if the new methods may lead to fewer jobs, there would still be some jobs. Which is not that bad after all.
For ex. 10k people work at the plant
closure of the plant - 10k people unemployed

new methods - cut by 1/2 employees
5000 lost jobs, but 5000 remained.

5000 lost is still better than 10k...
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Re: The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2017, 04:57
mvictor wrote:
I completely agree with OA, yet, I have some ideas that I believe should not be avoided during the analysis of this argument.

If the company does not receive tax break, then it will surely close, since it cannot continue with its old polluting processing methods. Moreover, there is one more reason why would the plant close - the company doesn't have $ to upgrade to cleaner methods.

Basically, if the HG doesn't offer tax break, the plant will definitely close, an action that would lead to huge number of unemployed people.


To prevent the hike in unemployment, the most the government can do is offer tax break. Even if the new methods may lead to fewer jobs, there would still be some jobs. Which is not that bad after all.
For ex. 10k people work at the plant
closure of the plant - 10k people unemployed

new methods - cut by 1/2 employees
5000 lost jobs, but 5000 remained.

5000 lost is still better than 10k...


I agree with your point. But, does that not eliminate B? Like you said, 5000, heck even 1000 is better than 10K, if the motive of the government is to ensure as less people lose their jobs as possible.

I see the problem with E too, that the passage does not say the plant can look for other ways to raise money, which makes E irrelevant.
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Re: The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2017, 01:22
How is option B important?

Will the updated factory hire fewer workers? If yes, so what? If no, so what? How would either scenario influence the government's decision?
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Re: The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2017, 10:27
The plants request is to provide them with the tax break.
Govt decision is to provide them the tax break because if govt wont provide tax break local unemployment will rise.
So it would be important to know that whether the same no. of workers will work or the plant will require fewer worker.
If plant will require fewer worker anyways it would add to the unemployment rate.
And hence its very important to take into consideration.

I hope its clear now.
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Re: The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Nov 2017, 13:11
The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in the Hazelton area, but national environmental regulations will force it to close if it continues to use old, polluting processing methods. However, to update the plant to use newer, cleaner methods would be so expensive that the plant will close unless it receives the tax break it has requested. In order to prevent a major increase in local unemployment, the Hazelton government is considering granting the plant's request.

Which of the following would be most important for the Hazelton government to determine before deciding whether to grant the plant’s request?

(A) Whether the company that owns the plant would open a new plant in another area if the present plant were closed -if the present plant were closed then there will be unemployment in the current area (since company will open plant in another area if it decided to). Thus, this option will only weaken the argument.
(B) Whether the plant would employ far fewer workers when updated than it does now -Correct. If the employer does then it strengthens the argument, while if the employer doesn't then the argument breaks.
(C) Whether the level of pollutants presently being emitted by the plant is high enough to constitute a health hazard for local residents -health hazard? out of scope
(D) Whether the majority of the coal processed by the plant is sold outside the Hazelton area -selling? out of scope
(E) Whether the plant would be able to process more coal when updated than it does now -more coal processing? out of scope
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Re: The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2018, 11:40
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greenspring wrote:
The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in the Hazelton area, but national environmental regulations will force it to close if it continues to use old, polluting processing methods. However, to update the plant to use newer, cleaner methods would be so expensive that the plant will close unless it receives the tax break it has requested. In order to prevent a major increase in local unemployment, the Hazelton government is considering granting the plant's request.

Which of the following would be most important for the Hazelton government to determine before deciding whether to grant the plant’s request?

(A) Whether the company that owns the plant would open a new plant in another area if the present plant were closed
(B) Whether the plant would employ far fewer workers when updated than it does now
(C) Whether the level of pollutants presently being emitted by the plant is high enough to constitute a health hazard for local residents
(D) Whether the majority of the coal processed by the plant is sold outside the Hazelton area
(E) Whether the plant would be able to process more coal when updated than it does now


PREMISE: Coal plant will be shut down it it doesn't upgrade
PREMISE: Expensive upgrade will force company to close, UNLESS it receives tax break
PREMISE: To PREVENT increase in local unemployment, government may grant tax break

IMPORTANT: the government's goal is to PREVENT an increase in local unemployment

(A) while this would SEEM like an important consideration, we must remember that the goal is to PREVENT an increase in LOCAL unemployment.
So, whether or not a new plant opens ELSEWHERE (away from Hazelton) is irrelevant.
ELIMINATE A

(B) This is an important question. Since the goal is to PREVENT an increase in local unemployment, it's important to know the answer to whether fewer workers will be needed after the upgrade.
KEEP B

(C) This seems important. However, it has no bearing on whether the government can help PREVENT an increase in local unemployment
ELIMINATE C

(D) Irrelevant.
ELIMINATE D

(E) Irrelevant.
ELIMINATE E

Answer: B

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Re: The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2019, 12:13
I disagree with answer B. Knowing wether the corporation would build a new plant and in what location is entirely relevant, more so than if fewer people were employed. Updating existing plants is often more expensive than building new ones. Assuming the plan would like to continue operations, building a new plan would be a great option. Knowing if that plant will be in the same local area or not affects unemployment. If the city does not provide the grant, it is possible a new plant will be built in the local area and cost the city nothing. As for the number of people employed after the plan is upgraded is not relevant. Assuming a new plant is not built, they can either provide the grant and save SOME jobs, or not provide it and lose ALL jobs. A makes more sense. Please explain. What am I missing?

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Re: The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2019, 12:42
greenspring wrote:
The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in the Hazelton area, but national environmental regulations will force it to close if it continues to use old, polluting processing methods. However, to update the plant to use newer, cleaner methods would be so expensive that the plant will close unless it receives the tax break it has requested. In order to prevent a major increase in local unemployment, the Hazelton government is considering granting the plant's request.

Which of the following would be most important for the Hazelton government to determine before deciding whether to grant the plant’s request?

(A) Whether the company that owns the plant would open a new plant in another area if the present plant were closed
(B) Whether the plant would employ far fewer workers when updated than it does now
(C) Whether the level of pollutants presently being emitted by the plant is high enough to constitute a health hazard for local residents
(D) Whether the majority of the coal processed by the plant is sold outside the Hazelton area
(E) Whether the plant would be able to process more coal when updated than it does now



Government's decision: In order to prevent a major increase in local unemployment, the Hazelton government is considering granting the plant's request

(A) Whether the company that owns the plant would open a new plant in another area if the present plant were closed
Another area, why are we discussing the approval then ?? Do we even need to decide this while giving the grant, this is going against the argument

(B) Whether the plant would employ far fewer workers when updated than it does now
So Yes the plant would employ far fewer workers when updated than it does now,
Government should not approve

So No the plant would employ more workers when updated than it does now,
Government should continue with this plan

(C) Whether the level of pollutants presently being emitted by the plant is high enough to constitute a health hazard for local residents
If this not that case, then why is the discussion is been done on this, this is an irrelevant option

(D) Whether the majority of the coal processed by the plant is sold outside the Hazelton area
Outside the scope

(E) Whether the plant would be able to process more coal when updated than it does now
processing more coal, is not the problem here.
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Re: The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2019, 12:49
ETL wrote:
I disagree with answer B. Knowing wether the corporation would build a new plant and in what location is entirely relevant, more so than if fewer people were employed. Updating existing plants is often more expensive than building new ones. Assuming the plan would like to continue operations, building a new plan would be a great option. Knowing if that plant will be in the same local area or not affects unemployment. If the city does not provide the grant, it is possible a new plant will be built in the local area and cost the city nothing. As for the number of people employed after the plan is upgraded is not relevant. Assuming a new plant is not built, they can either provide the grant and save SOME jobs, or not provide it and lose ALL jobs. A makes more sense. Please explain. What am I missing?

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Hi ETL.

When answering GMAT Critical Reasoning questions, we have to be careful not to add to the passages or answer choices ideas that neither were stated nor are directly supported by what the passages or choices say.

Here's choice (A).

(A) Whether the company that owns the plant would open a new plant in another area if the present plant were closed.

Let's compare choice (A) with what you said.

What you said: Knowing if that plant will be in the same local area or not affects unemployment. If the city does not provide the grant, it is possible a new plant will be built in the local area and cost the city nothing.

Notice the difference. Choice (A) is about whether a new plant will be built SOMEWHERE ELSE. The topic of that choice is quite different from what you are talking about, which is whether a new plant will be built in or near Hazelton.

YES, what you are talking about would be helpful in deciding whether to grant the plant's request. However, you are saying things that choice (A) DOES NOT SAY.

What choice (A) says would not help the council to decide, since the building of a new plant in another area would not affect the number of jobs in Hazelton, at least not significantly enough for a GMAT Critical Reasoning scenario.

Let's consider (B) as well.

(B) Whether the plant would employ far fewer workers when updated than it does now.

Since the point of providing tax breaks is to keep the plant open to prevent a major increase in local unemployment, the answer to the question of whether the plant would employ far fewer workers would be important to the government, because, if the plant would employ far fewer workers, then giving the company a tax break won't prevent a major increase in unemployment.

Granted, even some employment might be worth giving the company a tax break, but let's not get too picky about this choice.

So, (B) mentions a key piece of information and, therefore, is the correct answer.
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Re: The Hazelton coal-processing plant is a major employer in   [#permalink] 09 Feb 2019, 12:49
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