Local governments are confused by Elon Musk’s announcement

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Local governments in the metropolitan areas of Washington D.C. and New York City were taken aback yesterday after SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he’d received verbal approval from the government to build a high-speed underground train connecting the two cities, called a hyperloop.

“Just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop,” the billionaire’s tweet read.

The White House acknowledged the tweet but didn’t go into specifics. They didn’t shoot down the idea, either, noting the dire need for infrastructure improvement in the United States.

“We have had promising conversations to date, are committed to transformative infrastructure projects, and believe our greatest solutions have often come from the ingenuity and drive of the private sector,” a White House spokesperson told ABC News.

But according to inquiries made by ABC News, no one had informed officials in the local governments. Neither the New York City mayor’s office nor spokespeople from the D.C. and Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation said they were aware of any ongoing projects involving Musk.

The ambiguity of his tweet yesterday had some accusing Musk of attempting to drum up interest in his project prematurely.

“Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly,” Musk clarified a few hours after posting his first tweet.

But Musk is a doer who starts projects first and asks questions later. As the United States approaches the limits of its existing infrastructure, the world renowned entrepreneur is intent on being the one to sell the solution. His tunnel-digging operation, The Boring Company, has already broken ground on an underground shaft near his rocket company in California in order to reduce daunting L.A. traffic.

“I find holes in the ground exciting,” Musk quipped at an engineering competition in January. “We’ll see how far we can get; we’re just sort of muddling along.”

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