Elon Musk appears to have jumped the gun Thursday when he announced some very exciting news for his Boring Company. "Just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins," he tweeted. But building a tunnel to blast passengers in pods under several states would require a vast amount of permits from relevant authorities, and government agencies in the cities and states involved said they hadn't approved anything of the kind. The Guardian reports that spokespeople at several agencies laughed at the suggestion that such a massive project could be approved verbally.
Musk said the project would be city center to city center, though "this is news to City Hall," tweeted Bill de Blasio's press secretary. But the "verbal approval" may have come from higher up: The White House confirmed that there had been "promising conversations" with Musk and Boring Company execs. Musk—who says the futuristic propulsion technology is like a cross between "a Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table"—walked back the approval claim in a later tweet, the Telegraph reports. "Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly," he said. (The propulsion system passed a big test last year.)