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The ‘verbal’ government approval for Elon Musk’s underground hyperloop is coming from the White House

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President-Elect Donald Trump Holds Meetings At Trump Tower
Elon Musk at Trump Tower on January 6, 2017
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The verbal approval that entrepreneur Elon Musk said he received from the government to build an underground hyperloop from New York to Washington, DC apparently came from the White House, an administration spokesman has told Bloomberg. The official said that the Trump administration and Musk have had “promising conversations to date” about being “committed to transformative infrastructure projects.”

Musk teased the idea of combining two of his current projects — the fast-moving rail system known as the hyperloop, and the underground tunnels he’s currently digging with The Boring Company — in a series of tweets this morning. “Just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop,” he wrote. He stated that the goal of this system would be to enable a person to travel between New York and DC in just 29 minutes. But it was unclear at the time where that “verbal govt approval” was coming from.

The comments from the White House line up with at least one loosely stated goal of the Trump administration’s nascent infrastructure plans. The Office of American Innovation, a project spearheaded by President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, floated the idea of an “underground high-speed rail system” as early as last month in a Vanity Fair story about the group’s efforts.

If built, it would be the longest tunnel in the world. In a later tweet, Musk said there’s “still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but [he’s] optimistic that will occur rapidly.”

Update July 20th, 4:29 PM ET: A spokesperson from Musk’s Boring Company sent a statement confirming Musk’s tweets, without providing much in the way of additional details.

“The Boring Company has had a number of promising conversations with local, state and federal government officials,” the spokesperson said. “With a few exceptions, feedback has been very positive and we have received verbal support from key government decision-makers for tunneling plans, including a Hyperloop route from New York to Washington DC. We look forward to future conversations with the cities and states along this route and we expect to secure the formal approvals necessary to break ground later this year.”