#19 - Analyst: Any new natural-gas-powered electrical
Please post below with any questions!
Hi, I have a question about answer choice A. I can see answer choice C is better (in retrospect) but is A wrong because it goes too far, and if so, how are you able to identify this? I seem to be having trouble with instantly making assumptions and inferences, messing up my thought process for the right answer choice
Answer Choice A exhibits a common logical flow: Time Shift Error. It is a flaw to presume that because something has occurred or exists in the past or present, that it will continue to occur or exist in the future. The classic example is "The sun has risen every day for the past 6 billion years, so it will rise tomorrow." Though the sun rising tomorrow is possible, and even probable, one cannot logically claim that it WILL rise.
In the context of this question, the answer choice states that because present electrical needs can't be met by natural gas, then future electrical needs WILL have to be met by other means. That is not necessarily so. Perhaps the country will build a new pipeline near one of the other bodies of water where the residents won't oppose construction. If that were to happen, assuming the other conditions are met, then future electrical needs could indeed be met by natural gas power.
Be on the lookout for this logical flaw. It is an LSAT favorite!
We received the following question from a student. An instructor will respond below. Thanks!
This is a Must Be True question, but it is a bit tricky to see that because it uses strengthen language. The question stem states: "The analyst’s statements, if true, most strongly support" To determine whether this is a MBT question or a strengthen question you have to look at whether the question is saying that the stimulus or the answer choices are true. If the stimulus is true (as it is here) then it is part of the first family and you are using the truth of the argument to prove that one of the answer choices is true. If the truth is in the answer choices then it would be a second family question and you would be using the truth in one of the answer choices to help the argument. The analyst's statements are part of the stimulus, and that is what the question is saying is true, so that makes this a Must Be True question.
The argument is that saying that if you are going to build new stations then you need 4 things: a location "close to a natural-gas pipeline, a large body of water for cooling, transmission lines, and a lack of opposition from residents. The argument goes on to say that 3 of those necessary conditions can be met: there are transmission lines, and natural gas lines that are near 3 large bodies of water for cooling. But the 4th condition is not met because residents would oppose any significant construction projects near those bodies of water since they are the region's only large bodies of water.
Answer C works because building new sites with the current pipelines would be opposed by residents because they are near the region's 3 large bodies of water (as stated above). But it is possible that if the pipelines were expanded to run near bodies of water that are not one of the region's 3 large bodies of water, the residents might not oppose the construction of new sites.
Hope that helps!
Yes! that does help -thank you very much.
Hi. I had a problem with this one too.
The logical flow is: Any "new" natural gas-powered electrical generation needs:
-- to be located close to a natural-gas pipeline
--a large body of water for cooling
-- transmission lines and needs to
-- be situated in a region where residents "will not" oppose construction...
It goes on to explain that the country is missing two of the elements needed. Although it has transmission lines, the lines are by bodies of water where residents in the vicinity "would" oppose any significant construction.
You said that answer choice (A) was a Time-Shift error. Don't the words "new", "will not" and "would oppose" indicate future circumstances?
Also, the necessary conditions that it must be near a large body of water, with non-complaining residents, aren't being met. How then can the existing natural-gas pipelines be expanded? Wouldn't we have to assume that expanding the pipelines would not be a significant construction project and that the residents won't complain about that assumed, insignificant construction project? If so, wouldn't that negate the premises of the stimulus which are to be taken as true?
It seems to me that as the necessary conditions are failing, a new (future) natural-gas powered electrical generation station won't be happening. Therefore, electrical needs will have to be met by some other alternative means, answer (A).
I know the above post was written a few months ago, and it seems to have been passed over, but I'm also curious about the issues that kyunglt raises, because I had a similar thought process. Any new stations must be built in a region where residents will not oppose their construction. But, residents would oppose construction. I get the time shift error, but the stimulus uses the future tense, and that seems to preclude any new stations from being built. It seems rational to extrapolate that into the future, given the language. I see how (C) works too, but I'm still miffed about (A).
kyung and gc,
It's not clear in the stimulus that existing natural-gas-powered electricity isn't serving all or some of the current need. New plants have the problems already pointed out, but existing plants may be providing electricity. There's no indication that future needs will definitely exceed current needs, or that possibly existing plants will become obsolete, so it's certainly possible that natural gas plants will provide for people's needs in the future. They won't be new ones (without some changes, as already pointed out in the discussion of answer choice (C)), but we don't know how many currently exist. This is why answer choice (A) contains new information.
I have read through the posts and have a question on why is D incorrect?
It seems to pass the Fact Test from the Stimulus because none of the four conditions to build new natural-gas-powered electrical generation station is satisfied thus there is currently no station near those three bodies of water. Could you point out what's the issue here?