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The humpback was one of nine large whales to get stranded over six weeks on or near beaches in the Northeast, not far from where developers of hundreds of offshore wind turbines are engaged in a flurry of preconstruction activity. The deaths have prompted pushback against the projects even though government scientists say they are unrelated.

It’s the latest in a string of threats to a fledgling offshore wind industry that climate advocates say is central to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Surging costs from inflation and labor shortages have developers saying their projects may not be profitable. A raft of lawsuits and pending federal restrictions to protect sensitive wildlife could further add to costs. The uncertainty has clouded bright expectations for massive growth in U.S. offshore wind, which the Biden administration and several state governments have bet big on in their climate plans.

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