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Photo: Killan O'Sullivan/View Pictures via Getty Images

Following up: California's mandate that new single-family homes and small multi-family dwellings must come with solar panels starting in 2020 has touched off a dispute among climate advocates about whether it's a good idea.

Why it matters now: State and local policy is where the action is, as the White House has generally abandoned federal climate policies. Meanwhile, California's initiatives could bolster similar efforts in other states as solar continues to get ever cheaper, which expands the menu of policy options.

The sides, albeit oversimplified:

  1. One side argues that it's a feel-good but not cost-effective policy, and could even crowd out better climate initiatives.
  2. Others say there isn't the luxury of leaving pr0-deployment policies on the cutting room floor, and that costs declines will make it cheaper than expected.

Be smart: Rochester Institute of Technology energy expert Eric Hittinger's excellent Twitter thread offers helpful framing. He writes:

  • "One group, maybe called 'optimizers', wants cost-effective solutions because anything else results in more costs and less results."
  • "Another group, maybe called 'pragmatic gradualists', are more focused on making progress, and are happy to push on anything that seems to move. This group is less focused on cost-effectiveness and more on political feasibility."
  • His bottom line: "Our *goal* should be to achieve the most cost-effective and efficient solutions that we know about, but we should also be *satisfied* if we achieved the best solution that was politically feasible today. Then tomorrow we can start working on a better policy."

One level deeper: The mandate, part of a wider efficiency policy, is expected to raise average new home costs by around $8,000–$12,000, per various reports.

  • The California Energy Commission predicts that the new policy will add $40 to monthly mortgage payments, but save $80 per month on cooling, heating and lighting.
  • NPR has a good piece here.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”