The Democratic staff of the House Natural Resources Committee issued a report entitled:  “America Pays for Gas Leaks: Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks Cost Consumers Billions”.  The report concludes that leaks and “lost and unaccounted for” natural gas from aging distribution systems result in unacceptable costs to consumers, contribute to climate change, and threaten public health due to explosions and other risks.  The report recommends that states and non-regulated utilities: (a) adopt cost recovery programs for accelerated replacement of high-risk, leak-prone pipelines; (b) establish timeframes for repairing non-hazardous gas leaks; (c) adopt a standard definition and methodology for calculating unaccounted for gas; and (d) limit the ability of gas companies to recover costs for unaccounted for gas.  The report was originally requested by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) while still a ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, and states that Senator Markey plans to draft legislation amending the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 to encourage action on these measures.