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The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu

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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2012, 13:58
E for me.

(A) The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.
(B) The United States petroleum industry’s cost by the end of the decade to meet environmental regulations is estimated at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.
(C) By the end of the decade, the United States petroleum industry’s cost of meeting environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.========
(D) To meet environmental regulations, the cost to the United States petroleum industry is estimated at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.
(E) It is estimated that by the end of the decade the cost to the United States petroleum industry of meeting environmental regulations will be ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

I think for A and B the "end of the decade" is poorly positioned and does not clearly link to the objective.
C I believe is an incorrect idiom, D same as A.

E sounded most fluid.

More experienced sentence correction peeps can chime in with better reasons why A-D wont work.

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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2017, 02:49
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.

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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2017, 11:31
Seeing a fresh request for an expert reply here... but Verbal Bot is the only one who has posted in the past 5 years, and I don't think that Mr. or Ms. Bot made the request. If you have a specific question, please let us know! Otherwise, please refer to some of the excellent explanations above.
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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2017, 04:25
GMATNinja wrote:
Seeing a fresh request for an expert reply here... but Verbal Bot is the only one who has posted in the past 5 years, and I don't think that Mr. or Ms. Bot made the request. If you have a specific question, please let us know! Otherwise, please refer to some of the excellent explanations above.


I think the Verbal Bot had an intuition that I'd have a query on this question.

Q1) What is this question testing?
The only thing I could point to during my quick scan is 'by the end of the decade' is moving around implying whatever this prepositional phrase is modifying should make sense.

Q2) How can we eliminate answer choices in this Q?
I got the right answer - E - by using my ear => eliminating bad sounding answer choices, and I do not want to rely on my ear as I know how GMAC plays with people's ear to get you to choose the wrong answer.

Thanks Ninja Man.
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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 12:42
tonebeeze wrote:
After further review, you can certainly arrive at the answer in under 60 seconds:
(1) If you identify the improper idioms "estimated at" & "projected at"

(2) You have a firm grasp of the concept of possessives. Possessive cases (- ‘s) is used only with the names of living things.

We don't say:
Table's legs...
Industry's cost...

We say:
Legs of the table...
Cost to the industry...


Not true.

In response to tonebeeze's point, actually possessiveness can be applied to nonliving things so long as they are tangible nouns. You can't say, "The incident highlights safety's importance in the workplace," but "The incident highlights the importance of workplace safety" works just fine. I think "industry," the way it's used here, would count as intangible, therefore the usage of "industry's cost" in A, B, and C is wrong.

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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2017, 23:56
There is no problem with "it is estimated" it is placeholder IT but was confused by "industry of meeting environmental regulations" in E.
That is why selected C
I consider meaning clearness and avoiding ambiguity is a priority in GMAT SC. Is that right?

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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2017, 12:58
Regarding the choice between C and E. I narrowed it down to those two also, however, I chose E simply because the "By the end of the decade" was offset by the "," from the rest of the sentence and that to me was problematic. I couldn't explain clearly but will try- the decade time frame seemed critical to the "projection (or estimate in choice E)" and therefore couldn't be a superfluous part of the sentence. A beginning phrase in answer choice C to me would seem like something that the sentence would normally exist without, but if you take that part out you loose the time frame. Is this reasoning off basis?

Also, I wasn't at all happy with answer choice E either. the "meeting" really bothered me as did the "to the United States petroleum industry" structure of the choice. Great discussion on this, thanks everyone.
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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2017, 23:23
mymba99 wrote:
E for me.
Assuming there is an apostrophe (industry's)
A,B,C - The United States petroleum industry's cost
industry's cost incorrectly implies that it is the cost of the industry. But it is cost to the industry.
D has a misplaced modifier problem.
E is fine. ( Though I have mixed feelings about the Cost to ....industry of meeting) {industry of meeting??}


I think it would read by inverting the phrase

cost of meeting environmental regulations to the United States petroleum industry

instead of

cost to the United States petroleum industry of meeting environmental regulations
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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2017, 17:53
akshayk wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
Seeing a fresh request for an expert reply here... but Verbal Bot is the only one who has posted in the past 5 years, and I don't think that Mr. or Ms. Bot made the request. If you have a specific question, please let us know! Otherwise, please refer to some of the excellent explanations above.


I think the Verbal Bot had an intuition that I'd have a query on this question.

Q1) What is this question testing?
The only thing I could point to during my quick scan is 'by the end of the decade' is moving around implying whatever this prepositional phrase is modifying should make sense.

Q2) How can we eliminate answer choices in this Q?
I got the right answer - E - by using my ear => eliminating bad sounding answer choices, and I do not want to rely on my ear as I know how GMAC plays with people's ear to get you to choose the wrong answer.

Thanks Ninja Man.

Lol. I'm glad that the verbal bot could bring us together...? :lol:

This question is mostly about meaning -- like many of our questions of the day. A lot of the time, when something "sounds funny", it's because there's something illogical -- and that may be hard to pin down.

Quote:
(A) The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.

The timeline is really confusing on this one, and I'm struggling to figure out what, exactly, it's saying. "The U.S. petroleum industry's cost... is projected at 10% of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade." That last part is really messy, mostly because the "by the end of the decade" isn't anywhere near the thing that it should be modifying. It's really confusing to have "is projected" in the present tense at the beginning of the sentence... and then this whole "at the end of the decade" seems to come out of nowhere at the end. Sure, the cost will reach 10% by the end of the decade, but that meaning is pretty badly obscured here. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) The United States petroleum industry’s cost by the end of the decade to meet environmental regulations is estimated at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

This isn't totally awful, but the verb tense is a little bit weird: wouldn't we want to talk about the cost in the future tense here? I guess we could argue that the estimation itself happens in the present, but it would still be clearer to express it using the future tense. I also don't love the fact that the word "cost" is a long way from the phrase "to meet environmental regulations", but I guess I'm splitting hairs.

To be honest, I would be conservative and keep (B) on the first pass through. But we'll see in a minute that (E) conveys the meaning just a little bit more clearly.

Quote:
(C) By the end of the decade, the United States petroleum industry’s cost of meeting environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

I don't like the use of "projected at" here. More importantly, I don't think the verb tenses make sense. "By the end of the decade... the cost is projected at..." Huh? If this is happening by the end of the decade, then the cost would need to be expressed in the future tense. (C) is out.


Quote:
(D) To meet environmental regulations, the cost to the United States petroleum industry is estimated at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.

The placement of "by the end of the decade" suffers from the same problem as (A). And if we're being strict and literal, the meaning is really funky at the beginning of the sentence, too. "To meet environmental regulations" is modifying the subsequent clause, "the cost is estimated at 10% of the price..." This is subtle, but it basically sounds like the cost estimation itself is being conducted in order to meet environmental regulations... and that doesn't make sense. (D) is gone.

Quote:
(E) It is estimated that by the end of the decade the cost to the United States petroleum industry of meeting environmental regulations will be ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

Yeah, this one is better. We finally have the costs in the future tense, and that makes much more sense than (B) (which is admittedly tempting!) or any of the others. The modifiers are in better spots, too.

So yeah: (E) probably also "sounds better" than the other answer choices. But in a perfect world, it's good to try to figure out how, exactly, the meaning gets tweaked by the crappier answer choices.

I hope this helps!
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Want expert SC and CR explanations? Check out our verbal Question of the Day! All of them are available here.

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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2017, 16:19
GMATNinja wrote:
akshayk wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
Seeing a fresh request for an expert reply here... but Verbal Bot is the only one who has posted in the past 5 years, and I don't think that Mr. or Ms. Bot made the request. If you have a specific question, please let us know! Otherwise, please refer to some of the excellent explanations above.


I think the Verbal Bot had an intuition that I'd have a query on this question.

Q1) What is this question testing?
The only thing I could point to during my quick scan is 'by the end of the decade' is moving around implying whatever this prepositional phrase is modifying should make sense.

Q2) How can we eliminate answer choices in this Q?
I got the right answer - E - by using my ear => eliminating bad sounding answer choices, and I do not want to rely on my ear as I know how GMAC plays with people's ear to get you to choose the wrong answer.

Thanks Ninja Man.

Lol. I'm glad that the verbal bot could bring us together...? :lol:

This question is mostly about meaning -- like many of our questions of the day. A lot of the time, when something "sounds funny", it's because there's something illogical -- and that may be hard to pin down.

Quote:
(A) The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.

The timeline is really confusing on this one, and I'm struggling to figure out what, exactly, it's saying. "The U.S. petroleum industry's cost... is projected at 10% of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade." That last part is really messy, mostly because the "by the end of the decade" isn't anywhere near the thing that it should be modifying. It's really confusing to have "is projected" in the present tense at the beginning of the sentence... and then this whole "at the end of the decade" seems to come out of nowhere at the end. Sure, the cost will reach 10% by the end of the decade, but that meaning is pretty badly obscured here. (A) is out.

Quote:
(B) The United States petroleum industry’s cost by the end of the decade to meet environmental regulations is estimated at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

This isn't totally awful, but the verb tense is a little bit weird: wouldn't we want to talk about the cost in the future tense here? I guess we could argue that the estimation itself happens in the present, but it would still be clearer to express it using the future tense. I also don't love the fact that the word "cost" is a long way from the phrase "to meet environmental regulations", but I guess I'm splitting hairs.

To be honest, I would be conservative and keep (B) on the first pass through. But we'll see in a minute that (E) conveys the meaning just a little bit more clearly.

Quote:
(C) By the end of the decade, the United States petroleum industry’s cost of meeting environmental regulations is projected at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

I don't like the use of "projected at" here. More importantly, I don't think the verb tenses make sense. "By the end of the decade... the cost is projected at..." Huh? If this is happening by the end of the decade, then the cost would need to be expressed in the future tense. (C) is out.


Quote:
(D) To meet environmental regulations, the cost to the United States petroleum industry is estimated at ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum by the end of the decade.

The placement of "by the end of the decade" suffers from the same problem as (A). And if we're being strict and literal, the meaning is really funky at the beginning of the sentence, too. "To meet environmental regulations" is modifying the subsequent clause, "the cost is estimated at 10% of the price..." This is subtle, but it basically sounds like the cost estimation itself is being conducted in order to meet environmental regulations... and that doesn't make sense. (D) is gone.

Quote:
(E) It is estimated that by the end of the decade the cost to the United States petroleum industry of meeting environmental regulations will be ten percent of the price per barrel of refined petroleum.

Yeah, this one is better. We finally have the costs in the future tense, and that makes much more sense than (B) (which is admittedly tempting!) or any of the others. The modifiers are in better spots, too.

So yeah: (E) probably also "sounds better" than the other answer choices. But in a perfect world, it's good to try to figure out how, exactly, the meaning gets tweaked by the crappier answer choices.

I hope this helps!


Dear GMATNinja

Thanks for your great explanation. I have some questions:

1- In Choice B, Is the 'estimated at 10 %' considered idiomatic usage?

2- in choice E, Is the construction of "cost to the United States petroleum industry of meeting environmental regulations". I quoted the following example of MGMAT book
'The COST OF pollution TO us is billions IN increased medical bills.'. It was considered under 'SUSPECT'. What do you think?

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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu   [#permalink] 12 Aug 2017, 16:19

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