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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 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]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 03:24
The statement seems awkward in E
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Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2019, 19:59
I think it's petroleum industry to meet environmental regulations

not the cost to meet environmental regulations
GMAT Club Bot
Re: The United States petroleum industry’s cost to meet environmental regu   [#permalink] 04 Jun 2019, 19:59

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