MILWAUKEE, — "In every campaign season, stump speeches inevitably include promises of reducing oil dependence and developing a sound energy policy. In the shadow of these promises, oil imports continue to rise and our transportation system remains overwhelmingly powered by petroleum.... What steps will you take to move us toward [a] low-carbon future?"

That is the overarching question of the winning entry in Johnson Controls' TEAMS competition, which the company published in today's edition of USA Today.

The competition brought together groups of students from more than 200 schools that are members of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education to write open letters to presidential candidates urging them to make environmental concerns the top issue in next year's election and beyond.

"The letter from Carnegie Mellon students in particular demonstrates that this generation is not so much 'quiet' as it is 'pensive,'" said Clay Nesler, vice president of global energy and sustainability at Johnson Controls. "We congratulate them for outlining an informed and timely query to the candidates."

TEAMS, which stands for Tomorrow's Energy Ambassadors, Managers and Scholars, aims to highlight students' awareness of important energy and sustainability issues while at the same time asking presidential hopefuls to clarify their own views.

The winning team, consisting of Shahzeen Attari, Ines Margarida Lima de Azevedo, Bejamin Flath and Constantine Samaras, juniors and seniors at Carnegie Mellon University, had their letter published in a full-page ad in USA Today's Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh editions, received a $10,000 check from Johnson Controls for their school's scholarship fund, as well as a $2,500 grant from the company.

Second and third place teams were from Georgia Institute of Technology, receiving a $1,500 grant from JCI, and from the University of Montana, which won a $1,000 grant.

More information about the TEAMS program is available from Johnson Controls.