Following is a statement from Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, on small business energy relief:

“Small businesses and family farmers across the country are getting whacked with soaring energy costs. So why is the Administration blocking relief?

Here we are just days before a big holiday weekend, and we’re back in the same place we started -- nowhere.

“I introduced the bipartisan Small Business and Farm Energy Emergency Relief Act, which the Senate has passed twice. It’s common sense to help our small businesses and family farms when energy prices skyrocket. Giving them access to low-interest loans can help them keep their doors open and invest in renewable or alternative energy sources.

“It’s wrong that every time there’s a choice between the oil companies and oil relief in Washington, the oil companies win. But the Bush Administration continues to block energy relief for small businesses and farmers. Had the president signed this into law when I first introduced the proposal, small firms and farmers would have been able to get relief from sky high energy prices for the last three years.”