Here is Penn Future’s statement on the standards, laced with rhetoric tying the legislation to Hugo Chavez and Iran (FYI, the US does not purchase oil from Iran). They make the claim that the lower-emission cars, though more expensive, would save money in the long run through better gas mileage, thus we should enact the more strict mandate. In other words, consumers would not choose to save money without a government mandate.
Sam Smith (House Majority Leader) Op-Ed in the Patriot News on the battle over using federal EPA or California standards for vehicle emissions. Also check out the memo from Sen. Mary Jo White and Sen. Madigan explaining their legislation.