March 2019 SAT Test Essay Sample: "How to Prevent an Oil Train Disaster"

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March 2019 SAT Test Essay Sample: "How to Prevent an Oil Train Disaster"

In case of explosions within the oil train transportation, the Obama administration has issued rules to prevent such risks. Nevertheless, the author Marcus Stern remains outspoken comments on the weaknesses of such regularity and suggests that the Obama administration authorize"an aggressive interim volatility standard." In order to reveal the severity of oil train explosions and urge further actions by the government, Mr. Stern takes advantage of facts, adds contrast and cause-effect into the logical framework and appeals to readers' responses emotionally.

The author logically accounts for the reasons behind his requirement that the strict rules should be formulated.For one thing, two consistent contrasts are crafted so as to expose the authorities' inaction to eliminate volatile gases. It is admitted that the Obama administration imposed safety rules on oil trains; however, the rhetorical shift "but" moves the focus onto the highlight that "it didn't do one thing—require energy producers to remove more of the volatile gases." Additionally,the author heightens the difference between requirements for restrictions on volatile gases and actual implementations. Specifically, producers we respected to extract inflammable gases. By contrast, the North Dakota rule is not strict enough to remove those gases; instead, it is aimed for strengthening the tankers and this focus is unrealistic in the short term. The deft use of contrast introduces the article's subject smoothly and responds to Mr. Stern's proposal that tough regulations should replace the lax one. Meanwhile, this balanced structure successfully escorts readers to the next stage why oil producers are reluctant to reduce volatile gases. After decoding the explicit causal relationship, readers are able to figure out companies' financial stake in those gases, just as the supposition implies "if producers are forced to remove these lucrative gases at the well, that significant additional revenue would be lost." It is manifest that oil companies will not take away their enormous profits just due to "lax regulations". The author works out the motives why he is trying to advocate more strict rules, namely the national government's deficiency in the control and oil companies' "financial stake in keeping the volatile gases", so that readers tend to show solicitude for this urgency and expect the government to take immediate steps.

Mr. Stern then makes full use of facts, establishing ethos from the moment when he talks about "oil train disaster". First, he indicates how a burning tanker comes into form. This is because gases within trains turn into "an explosive blanket of vapors" and those vapors can be ignited, "if a derailment occurs and the tanker ruptures."What's worse, the flaming oil may spread to other following trains. The author does not just interpret the process of burning; rather, he lists several accidents happening in different regions so as to equip readers with credible evidence. Readers, in turn, remain aware of this widespread incident, and more importantly when they read these words "oil trains also run through crowded urban and suburban neighborhoods," they are likely to associate these dangerous zones to their residential areas. Here the author mentions both rural and urban areas, thereby making it clear that this issue is not rare at all and needs readers' concern about their own safety. Therefore, more audiences are prone to this warning and support Mr. Stern's call to action.

Although his use of logos and ethos makes people comprehend the issue on an intellectual level, the emotional nature of this subject produces a very natural pathos. For one thing, the writer employs the ironic tone to criticize the Obama administration for its inappropriate measures. Granted, the administration has realized the potential dangers of oil train and "issued a series of emergency orders and safety alerts;" ironically,the trains were still exploding and no steps were required to reduce volatile gases. It is manifest that the government's measure is invalid and misleading.After perceiving his ironic tone, readers tend to attribute the worsening burning accidents to the administration's inaction and express their disappointment.Besides satire, readers can also apprehend his critical tone towards the new rules. Specifically, Mr. Stern explicitly points out these shortcomings.Residents are not informed of oil trains passing through their borders and "comprehensive emergency plans" are not included in the new rules. His uncompromising attitude does not only reflect his indignation about the failure, but also evokes readers' aggressiveness in the call to action—"The Obama administration should quickly enact an aggressive interim volatility standard."

Through the effective use of rhetorical tools and the mindful arrangement of this essay, the author persuades the audience that the main idea.

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