BOSTON (SHNS) – After making affordability a major theme of her campaign, Gov. Maura Healey said Tuesday that her administration’s focus on clean energy and combatting climate change goes hand-in-hand with helping Bay Staters deal with rising costs of living.

Healey and Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll visited UMass Dartmouth to hear about work underway at the school to help Massachusetts move to a more sustainable future, a trip that marked Healey’s first official public event outside the State House since she took the oath of office last week. Asked after the event about balancing climate priorities with financial pressures facing South Coast residents, Healey replied by arguing that the two issues are closely linked and that work to build out a clean energy sector — including major offshore wind developments — will bring economic benefits.

“There’s a reason that people are paying so much in heating bills and electric bills. It’s because we’ve been hostage to the fossil fuel industry for so long,” she said. “This is an opportunity today to grow our own energy source here. It’s actually going to lower costs for everyone over time. It’s going to improve our health, too, because we also know people may be disproportionately adversely affected by higher rates of pollution and asthma and all sorts of things that are also directly related to climate.”

Healey took over atop the executive branch amid upheaval in one of the most significant wind projects in the state’s pipeline. Commonwealth Wind petitioned the Baker administration to scrap the developer’s agreement with utility companies and reopen bidding, arguing that those contracts will not allow the project to be financed and built. The Department of Public Utilities rejected that request and approved the contracts on Dec. 30.

“We’re just going to move forward,” Healey said Tuesday about offshore wind. “This is an incredibly important industry. We know that Massachusetts has an opportunity to make its mark, not only nationally but globally.