NORFOLK (AP) -- A U.S. Senate Energy subcommittee on water and power held a hearing in Norfolk.
The subcommittee held that field hearing aboard the USS Kearsarge at Naval Station Norfolk on Monday.
The purpose of the hearing was to learn more about energy and water policies that the Department of the Navy is implementing.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus was among those testifying on board the amphibious assault ship, which has won numerous Navy awards for its energy programs. He defended the service's spending on the development of biofuels.
Some Republicans have said the Navy should spend its limited resources on building new ships instead of developing fuel alternatives.
The Navy, Department of Energy and Agriculture Department are spending $510 million to jump start commercial development of the advanced alternative fuels industry.
Mabus said that if the U.S. doesn't develop home-grown alternative energies, it might not be able to afford to fuel any ships it builds.
USS Kearsarge, launched in 1992, has received the Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Safety Award, the Secretary of the Navy Energy Award and the Department of Energy’s Mobility Energy Efficiency Award.
Others who testified were former U.S. Sen. John Warner and leaders from the Navy and Marine Corps.