An idea whose time had come investigates the process that resulted in ethanol being given a key role in American energy policy in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Using Kingdon’s Multiple Streams agenda-setting framework as the backbone of the study, this research draws attention to the pre-decision, agenda-setting stage, of the process to gain a better understanding of the factors that initiated this shift in policy focus. With some small modifications, Kingdon’s agenda-setting framework, originally designed and applied in the context of health and transportation, holds up well when extended to the energy policy domain. One key point where the energy agenda-setting process appears to diverge from Kingdon’s model occurs in the problem stream, which does not appear to be distinct from the political stream. Instead, the author suggests that problem definition plays a strong role in informing the content of the political stream. This is demonstrated by convergence of energy, agricultural, and environmental problems in the early 2000s and the efforts of interest groups to reinforce the relationship between these problems as a way to promote ethanol as an attractive policy option.