For a concise (affordable) introduction of environmental economics and policy, see Markets and the Environment (2nd edition), by Nathaniel Keohane and Sheila Olmstead.
For a more formal treatment of environmental economics, checkout (less math) The Economics of the Environment (1st Edition), by Peter Berck and Gloria Helfand, or (more math) Environmental Economics (2nd Edition), by Charles Kolstad.
For a fantastic (affordable) introduction to the econometric methods we will use in this class, I highly recommend “Mastering ‘Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect,” by Joshua D. Angrist and Jörn-Steffen Pischke.
All of the empirical tools used are also covered in “Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach,” by Jeffrey Wooldridge.
The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both have great energy and environmental coverage. You can sign up for free accounts through BC. Axios Generate also tracks a wide range of stories. The daily email is a good way to quickly see the top 2-4 energy stories each day, along with succinct summaries.
Finally, the Energy Information Administration is the best source for energy statistics in the US. They post (almost) daily on energy topics at Today in Energy, often with easy to interpret graphs/ statistics. [I think this is an ideal source for coming up with a paper topic.]
For additional commentary, here are some of my favorite environmental economics blogs: