The necessity to protect the environment was generally unknown at the time of the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, so there is no provision for it in the language of the document. Congress and the Supreme Court have used unconstitutional means to legislate in this area, most of which are used to protect cronies' monopolies or exert political power rather than actually protect the environment. The Uniting Amendment adds specific language to the Constitution to protect the environment while preventing the abuse of environmental law for iniquitous purposes.
The air, water and other common resources may be used by people, however, when the use of a resource interferes with the rights of others, then the use must be regulated to ensure that everyone has a fair opportunity to use that common resource without infringing the rights of others. For example, if someone dumps a toxic pollutant into a body of water, it can infringe the rights of others either by preventing them from using the water or by harming them if they use it unwittingly. There are several areas within the current version of the Uniting Amendment that address environmental issues. Clauses in Section 10 (Powers) grant Congress and the State the power to regulate the use or alteration of scarce common resources. It says:
- "The people grant to Congress the following limited powers: ...To organize or limit the use or alteration of scarce common resources to better facilitate their use, such power limited to resources that cannot be entirely organized under the jurisdiction of any particular State..."
- "The people grant to the States the following limited powers: ...To organize or limit the use or alteration of scarce common resources to better facilitate their use, such power limited to resources that are possible to organize solely under the jurisdiction of the State..."
- "The use or alteration of a common resource may only be limited or organized when its supply or capacity is insufficient to meet the actual, unregulated demand for its use or alteration and when that unregulated condition infringes rights."
The amendment later defines a common resource:
- "A common resource is a thing that is used and is either publicly owned by a government or that by its very nature cannot entirely be owned and possessed by a natural or juridical person. Common resources include, but are not limited to: the air, airspace and orbital space; water flowing or likely to flow across property boundaries; intellectual property in the public domain; the electromagnetic spectrum; and travel ways, buildings, land and bodies of water owned by a government."
People have the right to use common resources
- "No permit or license is required to exercise any right, however, the use of a common resource may be regulated by permit when the use would likely conflict with the rights of others to use the common resource. No government may cause a resource to become artificially scarce except upon patent or copyright."
Section 6 (Equity) further states that:
- "Whenever the use or alteration of public land or any other common resource must be limited or organized, the right of use or alteration shall be distributed equally among all the people and any person may freely trade such right with any other entity without restriction."
Section 9 (Respect for Life and Nature) provides explicit protections. It says:
- "No person may take any action that causes a race or species of life to become endangered or extinct in nature except in the case of tangible, microscopic contagions that are noxious to health and have no known supportive purpose. No land may be altered in a manner that causes it to be ordinarily uninhabitable for a period of one hundred years or more by natural species. A person acting on behalf of any government may not harm or kill any person or creature who has the right to exist and no funds may be allocated to facilitate that purpose, except for acts of self defense as provided by this Amendment. "