November 14, 2017
Elon Musk may have mistaken "verbal govt approval" for "verbal government excitement" when he tweeted in July that he had been given the green light to build a Hyperloop transit system connecting New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., according to a report.
While speaking at an Internet Association event in San Francisco, White House Advisor Reed Cordish said he hadn't granted government approval to Musk when they discussed the Boring Company project, Axios reported.
"I think what you heard was verbal government excitement," Cordish said he told Musk, the report said.
Cordish did say that the Trump administration is talking with the SpaceX co-founder and Tesla Inc. CEO about the proposal, which would connect the four cities at remarkable speeds.
Details in Musk's July 20 tweets were scant. A lot of work was still needed to receive formal approval, "but am optimistic that will occur rapidly," he said in one tweet.
Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 20, 2017
Three weeks ago, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted that the Boring Company, Musk's tunneling and infrastructure startup, plans to build a Hyperloop tunnel from Baltimore to Washington.
He said in another tweet that his administration was proud "to support The Boring Company to bring rapid electric transportation to MD – connecting Baltimore City to D.C."
The project is privately funded and received approval from the Maryland Department of Transportation to dig the tunnel under state roads, a Hogan spokesman told The Washington Post.
In the summer, a number of local officials gave accounts along the lines of not knowing about Musk's proposal outside of what had been in his tweets.
"There are numerous hurdles for this unproven 'Hyperloop' technology before it can become reality," Mike Dunn, Philly's deputy communications director, told PhillyVoice at the time. Dunn had also told Fortune.com that Musk had no contact with Philly officials on the matter.
A spokesperson from The Boring Company, a tunneling and infrastructure company Musk launched last year, had told Fortune.com that the project had received support from "key government decision-makers."
Over the summer, Musk claimed the Hyperloop would make the New York-to-D.C. trip in just 29 minutes.
Musk and SpaceX first introduced the technology in a 2013 open source white paper.