For years it was the one and only way to deal with climate change, elegant in its simplicity. Treat greenhouse gases like pollutants, put a national limit on their emissions, then allow companies to trade carbon allowance and let the market find the most efficient way to cut carbon dioxide. As 2010 dawned, cap-and-trade seemed tantalizingly close to becoming the law of the land in the U.S., with a version having already passed the House of Representatives. But in truth it never had a chance. The 60-vote filibuster barrier in the Senate plus the opposition of Democrats from the Midwest and South who count on carbon-heavy coal made cap-and-trade an uphill battle for supporters like Democratic Senator John Kerry. As Republicans opposed the bill en masse and Democratic leaders shied away from the fight, cap-and-trade died quietly in the Senate this summer, never having come to a vote. Thanks to the Republican landslide in November, that won't change any time soon.