President Joe Biden's administration has repeatedly encouraged a shift to electric vehicles not just in an effort to combat the climate crisis, but to ease the United States' dependance on oil and natural gas.
Last year, the administration released an Electric Vehicle Charging Plan outlining its goals to boost sale shares of electric vehicles while making them more affordable for working families.
Russia is one of the largest oil and natural gas producers in the world, and Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent invasion of Ukraine has upended the natural gas market, resulting in instability, higher gas prices, and a ban on Russian oil imports to the United States. Democrats have pointed to this instability as a reason to work toward reducing America's oil dependence.
Shortly after Biden signed the executive order to ban Russian oil imports to the United States, Peter Doocy—a White House correspondent for the conservative Fox News network—asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki if Biden himself owned an electric vehicle.
"This is a president who always talks about the power of our example. Does he own an electric vehicle?"
When Psaki reminded him that "Presidents of the United States don't do a lot of driving," Doocy retorted:
"He's posted videos where he's revving the engine of his Corvette in Wilmington. He owns cars."
Psaki insisted that Biden has driven electric cars as President to "give a model to the rest of the country," adding that "the President's record on this is clear," further emphasizing that both current and former Presidents "typically don't do a lot of driving."
The Press Secretary is correct that Biden has publicly driven an electric Hummer and a Ford electric truck as part of the administration's effort to promote electric vehicles, but that wasn't the aspect of Biden's career that social media users remembered.
For decades during his time in the Senate, Biden regularly opted for Amtrak trains to shuttle him from his home in Delaware to D.C. As far back as 2008, Biden was often called "Amtrak Joe." By the time Biden left the White House at the conclusion of his time as Vice President, he'd taken more than 8 thousand train rides on the rail line.
Public transit options like Amtrak are widely celebrated by environmentalists who emphasize that collective transportation is less harmful to the environment than mass individual transportation that clogs highways and releases CO2 into the air.
Social media users soon cited Biden's fondness of Amtrak in response to Doocy's question.
Their criticisms didn't end there.
"Amtrak" soon began trending on Twitter as a result of Doocy's question.