EJS help - my variable became an object?

I have a simple if statement in EJS (inside a partial):

<% if (('$_ENV.NODE_ENV',locals)==='production') { %> URL goes here <% } %>

This expression never goes through. So I was debugging it and turns out, if I put this:


It’ll return production

But when I remove the ‘whitespace slurping’ _ from the expression, it doesn’t evaluate it anymore:

<%-('$_ENV.NODE_ENV', locals)%>

Gives me the error Cannot convert object to primitive value.
This is very odd to me as I don’t understand why it now suddenly became an object?

The only way I could get some info is by doing

<%-JSON.stringify(('$_ENV.NODE_ENV', locals))%>

But this just returns the entire $_ENV object…

What am I doing wrong here? How can I make a simple if condition?

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