For pipeline company Antero Midstream, a firm at the forefront of the Appalachian fracking boom, the mammoth stimulus bill known as the Cares Act delivered a quick and happy benefit: a $55 million payment from the Treasury Department.

“You shouldn’t have to be a connected oil company or polluter to get taxpayer support to weather this pandemic,” said Kyle Herrig, president of the watchdog group Accountable.US. “Unfortunately, the Trump administration has pulled out all the stops for their extractive-industry special-interest allies who had upside-down balance sheets well before the ensuing economic downturn, while small businesses, the unemployed and underemployed have been left to fight for scraps.”